Guasch-Ferré, M., P. Hernández-Alonso, J.P. Drouin-Chartier, M. Ruiz-Canela, C. Razquin, E. Toledo, J. Li, C. Dennis, C. Wittenbecher, D. Corella, R. Estruch, M. Fitó, E. Ros, N. Babio, S.N. Bhupathiraju, C.B. Clish, L. Liang, M.A. Martínez-González, F.B. Hu, J. Salas-Salvadó, 2020. Walnut consumption, plasma metabolomics, and risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. J Nutr. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxaa374.
Background: Walnut consumption is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, it is unknown whether plasma metabolites related to walnut consumption are also associated with lower risk of cardiometabolic diseases. Objectives: The study aimed to identify plasma metabolites associated with walnut consumption and evaluate the prospective associations between the identified profile and risk of T2D and CVD. Methods: The discovery population included 1833 participants at high cardiovascular risk from the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea (PREDIMED) study with available metabolomics data at baseline. The study population included 57% women (baseline mean BMI (in kg/m2): 29.9; mean age: 67 y). A total of 1522 participants also had available metabolomics data at year 1 and were used as the internal validation population. Plasma metabolomics analyses were performed using LC-MS. Cross-sectional associations between 385 known metabolites and walnut consumption were assessed using elastic net continuous regression analysis. A 10-cross-validation (CV) procedure was used, and Pearson correlation coefficients were assessed between metabolite weighted models and self-reported walnut consumption in each pair of training–validation data sets within the discovery population. We further estimated the prospective associations between the identified metabolite profile and incident T2D and CVD using multivariable Cox regression models. Results: A total of 19 metabolites were significantly associated with walnut consumption, including lipids, purines, acylcarnitines, and amino acids. Ten-CV Pearson correlation coefficients between self-reported walnut consumption and the plasma metabolite profile were 0.16 (95% CI: 0.11, 0.20) in the discovery population and 0.15 (95% CI: 0.10, 0.20) in the validation population. The metabolite profile was inversely associated with T2D incidence (HR per 1 SD: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.71, 0.97; P = 0.02). For CVD incidence, the HR per 1-SD was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.60, 0.85; P < 0.001). Conclusions: A metabolite profile including 19 metabolites was associated with walnut consumption and with a lower risk of incident T2D and CVD in a Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk.