New research from scientists in Finland has identified parts of the human genome that are linked with levels of circulating metabolites involved in a range of chemical reactions in the body. Some of the metabolites were revealed as biomarkers for cardiovascular disease that could offer insight into biological processes that lead to conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
The study, carried out at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to assess over a hundred different metabolic markers from a sample of 8,330 Finnish people in one assay, finding a total of 31 genetic regions linked to the blood levels of the metabolites, with 11 loci not having been previously associated with any metabolic measures.
Five of the new loci were found to affect levels of amino acids that are potential biomarkers for type 2 diabetes.
Study leader Samuli Ripatti, commented “Using this extensive analysis in thousands of people, we could identify a large number of genetic loci regulating the level of compounds circulating in the blood stream.”
He added “the study provides further support for the use of detailed data on multitude of metabolites in genetic studies to provide novel biological insights and to help in elucidating the processes leading to common diseases.”

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