Distinct metabolomic signatures are associated with longevity in humans

Susan Cheng, Martin G. Larson, Elizabeth L. McCabe, Joanne M. Murabito, Eugene P. Rhee, Jennifer E. Ho, Paul F. Jacques, Anahita Ghorbani, Martin Magnusson, Amanda L. Souza, Amy A. Deik, Kerry A. Pierce, Kevin Bullock, Christopher J. O'Donnell, Olle Melander, Clary B. Clish, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Robert E. Gerszten, Thomas J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Alterations in metabolism influence lifespan in experimental models, but data in humans are lacking. Here we use liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to quantify 217 plasma metabolites and examine their relation to longevity in a large cohort of men and women followed for up to 20 years. We find that, higher concentrations of the citric acid cycle intermediate, isocitrate, and the bile acid, taurocholate, are associated with lower odds of longevity, defined as attaining 80 years of age. Higher concentrations of isocitrate, but not taurocholate, are also associated with worse cardiovascular health at baseline, as well as risk of future cardiovascular disease and death. None of the metabolites identified are associated with cancer risk. Our findings suggest that some, but not all, metabolic pathways related to human longevity are linked to the risk of common causes of death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6791
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Apr 13 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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