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Ranges of phenotypic flexibility in healthy subjects

Author: Broek, T.J. van den · Bakker, G.C.M. · Rubingh, C.M. · Bijlsma, S. · Stroeve, J.H.M. · Ommen, B. van · Erk, M.J. van · Wopereis, S.
Source:Genes and Nutrition, 1, 12
Identifier: 782917
doi: doi:10.1186/s12263-017-0589-8
Article number: 32
Keywords: Biology · Challenge test · Data visualization · Metabolic health · Nutritional challenge · Personalized health · Cholesterol · High density lipoprotein cholesterol · Low density lipoprotein cholesterol · Adaptation · Adolescent · Adult · Aged · Body fat · Body mass · Body weight · Cholesterol blood level · Controlled clinical trial · Controlled study · Diastolic blood pressure · Diet restriction · Female · Function test · Gender · Glucose blood level · Groups by age · Health status · Human · Male · Metabolic stress · Normal human · Nutritional assessment · Open study · PhenFlex challenge test · Quantitative analysis · Systolic blood pressure · Waist circumference · Biomedical Innovation · Healthy Living · Life · MSB - Microbiology and Systems Biology · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


Background: A key feature of metabolic health is the ability to adapt upon dietary perturbations. A systemic review defined an optimal nutritional challenge test, the "PhenFlex test" (PFT). Recently, it has been shown that the PFT enables the quantification of all relevant metabolic processes involved in maintaining or regaining homeostasis of metabolic health. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that quantification of PFT response was more sensitive as compared to fasting markers in demonstrating reduced phenotypic flexibility in metabolically impaired type 2 diabetes subjects. Methods: This study aims to demonstrate that quantification of PFT response can discriminate between different states of health within the healthy range of the population. Therefore, 100 healthy subjects were enrolled (50 males, 50 females) ranging in age (young, middle, old) and body fat percentage (low, medium, high), assuming variation in phenotypic flexibility. Biomarkers were selected to quantify main processes which characterize phenotypic flexibility in response to PFT: flexibility in glucose, lipid, amino acid and vitamin metabolism, and metabolic stress. Individual phenotypic flexibility was visualized using the "health space" by representing the four processes on the health space axes. By quantifying and presenting the study subjects in this space, individual phenotypic flexibility was visualized. Results: Using the "health space" visualization, differences between groups as well as within groups from the healthy range of the population can be easily and intuitively assessed. The health space showed a different adaptation to the metabolic PhenFlex test in the extremes of the recruited population; persons of young age with low to normal fat percentage had a markedly different position in the health space as compared to persons from old age with normal to high fat percentage. Conclusion: The results of the metabolic PhenFlex test in conjunction with the health space reliably assessed health on an individual basis. This quantification can be used in the future for personalized health quantification and advice. © 2017 The Author(s). Chemicals/CAS: cholesterol, 57-88-5