Association between type 2 diabetes and branched chain amino acids (BCAA); a case-control study

Torki, Saheb Abbas, Bahadori, Effat, Aghakhaninejad, Zohreh, Mohseni, Golsa Khalatbari, Tajadod, Shirin, Rajabi Harsini, Asma, Azaryan, Fatemeh, Saeedirad, Zahra, Askarpour, Seyed Ali et al (2023) Association between type 2 diabetes and branched chain amino acids (BCAA); a case-control study. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders .

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Several amino acids and their derivatives have been implicated in insulin resistance (IR) and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). This research sought to establish a relationship between the dietary levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and the risk of T2DM.

This case-control study was carried out on 4200 participants consisting of 589 people with T2DM and 3611 non-diabetic aged 35 to 70 years residents in Sabzevar, Iran. Data on the economic-social, employment status, medical history, lifestyle, and sleep habits were collected via interview. The food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used to check the nutritional status. Participants’ dietary BCAA consumption was estimated using Nutritionist IV software.

A significant negative association between the incidence of T2DM and the dietary levels of BCAAs after adjustment for age and sex (OR = 0.972, CI 95%:0.648–0.996, P = 0.022). The negative association remained significant after additional adjustments for body mass index (BMI) and physical activity (OR = 0.967, CI 95%: 0.943–0.992, P = 0.010). Interestingly, a positive association was found between T2DM and total BCAAs (OR = 1.067, CI 95%: 1.017–1.119, P = 0.008), Isoleucine (OR = 1.248, CI 95%: 1.043–1.494, P = 0.016), Leucine (OR = 1.165, CI 95%: 1.046–1.299, P = 0.006) and Valine (OR = 1.274, CI 95%: 1.088–1.492, P = 0.003) after further adjustment for calorie intake.

Our results demonstrate branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) including isoleucine, leucine, and valine are negatively associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) after adjusting for age and sex, BMI, and physical activity. However, adjusting for calorie intake reversed the association between T2DM and BCAAs. These findings suggest that the association between BCAAs and T2DM may be influenced by calorie intake. Future longitudinal studies are warranted.

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