Poster Theater Flash Session
Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism
Almond consumption can improve the cardiometabolic phenotype in young college students that routinely skip breakfast. However, the mechanisms underlying the above physiological changes are not well characterized. The study aimed to explore the effects of consuming a morning snack of almonds (high-fat) vs. crackers (high-carbohydrate) for 8 weeks on primary metabolites such as sugars, amino acids, sterols, hormones, catecholamines, hydroxyl acids, fatty acids, aromatics and other intermediates of primary metabolism in young adults.
Methods : Newly enrolled, college students (n=73, age: 18-19 years, BMI: 18-41 kg/m2), primarily breakfast skippers, were randomly assigned to consume a morning snack, i.e. either almonds (2 oz./d, n=38) or an isocaloric graham cracker snack (325 kcal/d, n=35) daily for 8 weeks (Clinical trials: NCT03084003). Fasted blood samples were collected at baseline, mid-point and at the end of the 8-week intervention. Metabolite abundances in the serum were quantified by gas chromatography time-of-flight (GCTOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Data were reported as quantitative ion peak heights and were normalized by the sum intensity of all annotated metabolites. Linear mixed model analyses were conducted to assess the effects of the snack groups on the metabolites over the 8-week intervention. The P-values were adjusted for false discovery rate (FDR).
Results : Out of the 542 features detected, 160 were identified as known compounds. Aspartic acid, phenylalanine and taurine (amino acids), azelaic acid (dicarboxylic acid), octadeconol (fatty alcohol), threonic acid (sugar acid) increased (time effect, P< 0.05) while linoleic acid, myristic acid and palmitoleic acid (fatty acids) decreased (time effect, P< 0.05) over the 8-week snacking intervention. In addition, alpha-tocopherol (biomarker of almond consumption) and aconitic acid (TCA cycle intermediate) increased over 8 weeks in the almond group but not in the cracker group (time x snack effect, P< 0.05, Figure 1).
Conclusions : Consumption of a morning snack for 8 weeks altered the abundance of specific primary metabolites including those involved in biochemical pathways such as aconitic acid (almond snacking only) in routinely breakfast skipping young adults. The findings on the whole indicate a differential shift in metabolism with almond and cracker snacking which will be further analyzed through associations with glucoregulatory and cardiovascular outcomes.
Funding Sources :
Almond Board of California, NIH-NIMHD