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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Mendelian randomization studies have shown that triglyceride (TG)- lowering lipoprotein lipase (LPL) alleles and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C)-lowering alleles have independent beneficial associations on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We aimed to provide further insight into this observation by applying Mendelian randomization analyses of genetically-influenced TG and LDL-C levels on plasma metabolomic profiles. METHODS: We quantified over 100 lipoprotein metabolomic measures in the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study (N = 4838) and Oxford Biobank (OBB) (N = 6999) by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Weighted genetic scores for TG via five LPL alleles and LDL-C via 19 alleles were calculated and dichotomized by the median, resulting in four genotype combinations of high/low TG and high/low LDL-C. We performed linear regression analyses using a two × two design with the group with genetically-influenced high TG and LDL-C as a reference. RESULTS: Compared to the individual groups with genetically-influenced lower TG or lower LDL-C only, the group with combined genetically-influenced lower TG and LDL-C showed an overall independent and additive pattern of changes in metabolomic measures. Over 100 measures were different (p < 1.35 × 10-3) compared to the reference, with effect sizes and directionality being similar in NEO and OBB. Most notably, levels of all very-low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and LDL sub-particles were lower. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence that TG-lowering on top of LDL-C-lowering has additive beneficial effects on the lipoprotein profile compared to TG-lowering or LDL-C-lowering only, which is in accordance with reported additive genetic effects on CVD risk reduction.

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Cardiovascular disease, LDL-Cholesterol-lowering, Lipoprotein lipase, Mendelian randomization, Metabolomics, Triglyceride-lowering