BACKGROUND: Metabolomic analysis may help us to understand the association between alcohol consumption and cardio-metabolic health. We aimed to: (i) replicate a previous study of alcohol consumption and metabolic profiles, (ii) examine associations between types of alcoholic beverages and metabolites and (iii) include potential confounders not examined in previous studies. METHODS: Cross-sectional data of 1785 participants (age 26-36 years, 52% women) from the 2004-2006 Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study were used. Consumption of beer, wine and spirits was assessed by questionnaires. Metabolites were measured by a high-throughput nuclear magnetic resonance platform and multivariable linear regression examined their association with alcohol consumption (combined total and types) adjusted for covariates including socio-demographics, health behaviours and mental health. RESULTS: Alcohol consumption was associated with 23 out of 37 lipids, 12 out of 16 fatty acids and six out of 20 low-molecular-weight metabolites independent of confounders with similar associations for combined total alcohol consumption and different types of alcohol. Many metabolites (lipoprotein lipids in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) subclasses, HDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-1, phosphotriglycerides, total fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids) had positive linear associations with alcohol consumption but some showed negative linear (low-density lipoprotein particle size, omega-6 fatty acids ratio to total fatty acids, citrate) or U-shaped (lipoprotein lipids in very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) subclasses, VLDL triglycerides) associations. CONCLUSIONS: Our results were similar to those of the only previous study. Associations with metabolites were similar for total and types of alcohol. Alcohol consumption in young adults is related to a diverse range of metabolomic signatures associated with benefits and harms to health.
Eur J Prev Cardiol
Alcohol, epidemiology, fatty acids, metabolic profiling, metabolomics, risk factors