Metabolomics for Assessment of Nutritional Status

Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care 10/2009; 12(5):501-7. DOI: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32832f1916
Source: PubMed


The current rise in diet-related diseases continues to be one of the most significant health problems facing both the developed and the developing world. The use of metabolomics - the accurate and comprehensive measurement of a significant fraction of important metabolites in accessible biological fluids - for the assessment of nutritional status is a promising way forward. The basic toolset, targets and knowledge are all being developed in the emerging field of metabolomics, yet important knowledge and technology gaps will need to be addressed in order to bring such assessment to practice.
Dysregulation within the principal metabolic organs (e.g. intestine, adipose, skeletal muscle and liver) are at the center of a diet-disease paradigm that includes metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and obesity. The assessment of both essential nutrient status and the more comprehensive systemic metabolic response to dietary, lifestyle and environmental influences (e.g. metabolic phenotype) are necessary for the evaluation of status in individuals that can identify the multiple targets of intervention needed to address metabolic disease.
The first proofs of principle building the knowledge to bring actionable metabolic diagnostics to practice through metabolomics are now appearing.

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    • "Several studies have shown dramatic effects of storage of urine samples at a temperature above 4 °C. Changes were reported in the metabolic profiles of urine samples and bacterial contamination was observed (Barton et al. 2008; Gika et al. 2007; Saude and Sykes 2007; Zivkovic and German 2009). Thus, to ensure sample stability during long periods of storage, a temperature of -80 °C is recommended . "
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