Serum S-adenosylmethionine, but not methionine, increases in response to overfeeding in humans

A. K. Elshorbagy, F. Jernerén, D. Samocha-Bonet, H. Refsum, Leonie Heilbronn

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Abstract

Background:Plasma concentration of the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) is linearly associated with body mass index (BMI) and fat mass. As SAM is a high-energy compound and a sensor of cellular nutrient status, we hypothesized that SAM would increase with overfeeding.Methods:Forty normal to overweight men and women were overfed by 1250 kcal per day for 28 days.Results:Serum SAM increased from 106 to 130 nmol/l (P=0.006). In stratified analysis, only those with weight gain above the median (high-weight gainers; average weight gain 3.9±0.3 kg) had increased SAM (+42%, P=0.001), whereas low-weight gainers (weight gain 1.5±0.2 kg) did not (P interaction =0.018). Overfeeding did not alter serum concentrations of the SAM precursor, methionine or the products, S-adenosyl-homocysteine and homocysteine. The SAM/SAH (S-adenosylhomocysteine) ratio was unchanged in the total population, but increased in high-weight gainers (+52%, P=0.006, P interaction =0.005). Change in SAM correlated positively with change in weight (r=0.33, P=0.041) and fat mass (r=0.44, P=0.009), but not with change in protein intake or plasma methionine, glucose, insulin or low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol.Conclusion:Overfeeding raised serum SAM in proportion to the fat mass gained. The increase in SAM may help stabilize methionine levels, and denotes a responsiveness of SAM to nutrient state in humans. The role of SAM in human energy metabolism deserves further attention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere192
JournalNutrition and Diabetes
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 25 Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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