The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between objectively measured physical activity (PA) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and serum metabolites measured by targeted metabolomics in a population- based study. A total of 100 subjects provided 2 fasting blood samples and engaged in a CRF and PA measurement at 2 visits 4 months apart. CRF was estimated from a step test, whereas physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE), time spent sedentary and time spend in vigorous activity were measured by a combined heart rate and movement sensor for a total of 8 days. Serum metabolite concentrations were determined by flow injection analysis tandem mass spectrometry (FIA-MS/MS). Linear mixed models were applied with multivariable adjustment and p-values were corrected for multiple testing. Furthermore, we explored the associations between CRF, PA and two metabolite factors that have previously been linked to risk of Type 2 diabetes. CRF was associated with two phosphatidylcholine clusters independently of all other exposures. Lysophosphatidylcholine C14:0 and methionine were significantly negatively associated with PAEE and sedentary time. CRF was positively associated with the Type 2 diabetes protective factor. Vigorous activity was positively associated with the Type 2 diabetes risk factor in the mutually adjusted model. Our results suggest that CRF and PA are associated with serum metabolites, especially CRF with phosphatidylcholines and with the Type 2 diabetes protective factor. PAEE and sedentary time were associated with methionine. The identified metabolites could be potential mediators of the protective effects of CRF and PA on chronic disease risk.
Wientzek, Floegel, Knüppel, Vigl, Drogan, and Boeing are with the Dept. of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany. Pischon is with the Dept. of Molecular Epidemiology, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Berlin-Buch, Germany. Adamski is with the Institute of Experimental Genetics, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.