AIM: To characterise the effect of energy restriction (ER) on liver lipid and primary metabolite profile by using metabolomic approach. We also investigated whether the effect of energy restriction can be further enhanced by modification of dietary protein source and calcium.
METHODS: Liver metabolomic profile of lean and obese C57Bl/6J mice (n = 10/group) were compared with two groups of weight-reduced mice. ER was performed on control diet and whey protein-based high-calcium diet (whey + Ca). The metabolomic analyses were performed using the UPLC/MS based lipidomic platform and the HPLC/MS/MS based primary metabolite platform.
RESULTS: ER on both diets significantly reduced hepatic lipid accumulation and lipid droplet size, while only whey + Ca diet significantly decreased blood glucose (P < 0.001) and serum insulin (P < 0.01). In hepatic lipid species the biggest reduction was in the level of triacylglycerols and ceramides while the level of cholesterol esters was significantly increased during ER. Interestingly, diacylglycerol to phospholipid ratio, an indicator of relative amount of diabetogenic diglyceride species, was increased in the control ER group, but decreased in the whey + Ca ER group (P < 0.001, vs obese). ER on whey + Ca diet also totally reversed the obesity induced increase in the relative level of lipotoxic ceramides (P < 0.001, vs obese; P > 0.05, vs lean). These changes were accompanied with up-regulated TCA cycle and pentose phosphate pathway metabolites.
CONCLUSION: ER-induced changes on hepatic metabolomic profile can be significantly affected by dietary protein source. The therapeutic potential of whey protein and calcium should be further studied.
- Fatty liver
- energy restriction
- whey protein
- dietary calcium