Perspectives for metabolomics in human nutrition: an overview

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Abstract

Summary

Metabolomics describes the measurement of the full complement of the products of metabolism in a single biological sample and correlating these metabolomic profiles with known physiological or pathological states. The metabolome offers the possibility of finding unique fingerprints responsible for different phenotypes. Analytical techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance or mass spectrometry measure thousands of compounds within the metabolome simultaneously, and appropriate data mining and database tools allow the finding of significant correlations among the measured metabolomes. The first direct outcome of nutritional metabolomics will be the discovery of biomarkers, which can reveal changes in health and disease, but also indicate short-term and long-term dietary intake. The concerted actions of nutrigenomics and metabolomics will play a crucial role in understanding how specific interactions of single nucleotide polymorphisms influence a person's response to a diet. Finally, systems biology approaches to human nutrition combine transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics, with the aim of understanding how diets interact within the human being.

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