PLoS ONE | 2019
Metabolic consequences of discretionary fortified beverage consumption containing excessive vitamin B levels in adolescents
Over the past decade, there has been a substantial increase in the number of beverage products containing added vitamins and minerals. Often viewed as a healthier choice by consumers, the metabolic impacts of excessive vitamin consumption are relatively unknown, especially in children. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a widely available, vitamin fortified beverage (5h Energy Decaffeinated) on insulin sensitivity, metabolic hormones and serum metabolomic responses in adolescents. Twenty adolescents (13-19y, 10M/10F) completed two randomized trials, consuming either coloured water as placebo (PL) or a vitamin fortified, sugar free beverage (FB, 1.5ml/kg) 40min prior to a modified oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT, 1.75g/kg glucose). Samples were collected at baseline and at 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120min during the OGTT. No differences in blood glucose response were observed between the treatments. However, compared to PL, postprandial plasma C-peptide and insulin excursion was significantly greater with FB, resulting in a 28% decline in the insulin sensitivity index. This was accompanied by elevated GLP-1, glucagon and PYY responses with FB compared to PL. Serum metabolomics (1H-NMR) analysis also revealed perturbations to vitamin B-linked one carbon metabolism flux with FB consumption that became more pronounced over time. These included a transient reduction in homocysteine flux accompanied by increases in betaine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, choline, folate and taurine. Although these impacts are likely short-lived, results show that beverages fortified with excessive amounts of vitamins are not metabolically inert, but likely result in greater insulin secretion, differential gut hormone secretion and elevated one-carbon flux to process the excessive vitamin loads.