Out of 5961 investigated metabolic features, 1120 were associated with prevalent type 2 diabetes and IFG and 70 were annotated to metabolites and replicated in the three cohorts. Fifteen metabolites were associated with incident type 2 diabetes in the four cohorts combined (358 events) following adjustment for age, sex, BMI, waist circumference and fasting glucose. Novel findings included associations of higher values of the bile acid deoxycholic acid and monoacylglyceride 18:2 and lower concentrations of cortisol with type 2 diabetes risk. However, adding metabolites to an existing risk score improved model fit only marginally. A genetic variant within the CYP7A1 locus, encoding the rate-limiting enzyme in bile acid synthesis, was found to be associated with lower concentrations of deoxycholic acid, higher concentrations of LDL-cholesterol and lower type 2 diabetes risk. Variants in or near SGPP1, GCKR and FADS1/2 were associated with diabetes-associated phospholipids and type 2 diabetes.
We found evidence that the metabolism of bile acids and phospholipids shares some common genetic origin with type 2 diabetes.