Background: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) play a key role in energy homeostasis. Objective: We aimed to investigate the association between plasma BCAA levels and dyslipidemia in the Japanese population without diabetes mellitus. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 4952 participants without diabetes mellitus, enrolled in the Tsuruoka Metabolomic Cohort Study. Plasma BCAA levels were measured by capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry. Correlations between lipid and BCAA profiles were evaluated by sex-stratified multiple linear regression analyses, after adjusting for confounders. Logistic regression was used to identify associations between BCAAs and metabolic dyslipidemia (MD) defined as triglyceride levels ≥150 mg/dL, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels ≤40 mg/dL for men and ≤50 mg/dL for women, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels ≥140 mg/dL. Results: In both sexes, the levels of individual BCAAs and the total BCAA levels correlated positively with triglyceride levels and negatively with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Valine, leucine, and total BCAA levels were weakly and positively correlated with LDL-C levels. Increased BCAA levels showed positive associations with MD. However, associations between BCAAs and elevated LDL-C levels were unclear. Furthermore, the associations between BCAA levels and MD regardless of fasting blood sugar (FBS) levels (high or low). Although valine, leucine, and total BCAA levels were weakly associated with elevated LDL-C levels in the high-FBS group, no such association was observed in the low-FBS group. Conclusions: BCAAs might be associated with MD independently of the FBS level and might play an important role in lipid metabolism and dyslipidemia.
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