University of Oulu

de Mello, V. D. et al. Indolepropionic acid and novel lipid metabolites are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study. Sci. Rep. 7, 46337; doi: 10.1038/srep46337 (2017)

Indolepropionic acid and novel lipid metabolites are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study

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Author: de Mello, Vanessa D.1; Paananen, Jussi2; Lindström, Jaana3;
Organizations: 1Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
2Institute of Biomedicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
3Department of Chronic Disease Prevention, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Food Science, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
5Department of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, Finland
6Clinical Nutrition and Obesity Center, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland
7School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
8LC-MS Metabolomics Center, Biocenter Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
9Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
10Department of Biobank Research, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
11The Diabetes Centre, Finnish Diabetes Association, Tampere, Finland
12Science Center, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
13Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
14Unit of General Practice, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
15Unit of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
16Department of General Practice and Primary Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
17Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
18Unit of General Practice, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
19Vaasa Central Hospital, Vaasa, Finland
20Center for Vascular Prevention, Danube-University Krems, Austria
21Saudi Diabetes Research Group, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
22Research Unit, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-06-05


Wide-scale profiling technologies including metabolomics broaden the possibility of novel discoveries related to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D). By applying non-targeted metabolomics approach, we investigated here whether serum metabolite profile predicts T2D in a well-characterized study population with impaired glucose tolerance by examining two groups of individuals who took part in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS); those who either early developed T2D (n = 96) or did not convert to T2D within the 15-year follow-up (n = 104). Several novel metabolites were associated with lower likelihood of developing T2D, including indole and lipid related metabolites. Higher indolepropionic acid was associated with reduced likelihood of T2D in the DPS. Interestingly, in those who remained free of T2D, indolepropionic acid and various lipid species were associated with better insulin secretion and sensitivity, respectively. Furthermore, these metabolites were negatively correlated with low-grade inflammation. We replicated the association between indolepropionic acid and T2D risk in one Finnish and one Swedish population. We suggest that indolepropionic acid, a gut microbiota-produced metabolite, is a potential biomarker for the development of T2D that may mediate its protective effect by preservation of β-cell function. Novel lipid metabolites associated with T2D may exert their effects partly through enhancing insulin sensitivity.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 7
Article number: 46337
DOI: 10.1038/srep46337
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (128315, 129330, 131593, and 283454), Novo Nordisk Foundation, Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, Juho Vainio Foundation, Swedish Research Council-Medicine, the Finnish Diabetes Research Foundation and the Biocenter Finland.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2017. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit