Potential Impact and Study Considerations of Metabolomics in Cardiovascular Health and Disease: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
Through the measure of thousands of small-molecule metabolites in diverse biological systems, metabolomics now offers the potential for new insights into the factors that contribute to complex human diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Targeted metabolomics methods have already identified new molecular markers and metabolomic signatures of cardiovascular disease risk (including branched-chain amino acids, select unsaturated lipid species, and trimethylamine-N-oxide), thus in effect linking diverse exposures such as those from dietary intake and the microbiota with cardiometabolic traits. As technologies for metabolomics continue to evolve, the depth and breadth of small-molecule metabolite profiling in complex systems continue to advance rapidly, along with prospects for ongoing discovery. Current challenges facing the field of metabolomics include scaling throughput and technical capacity for metabolomics approaches, bioinformatic and chemoinformatic tools for handling large-scale metabolomics data, methods for elucidating the biochemical structure and function of novel metabolites, and strategies for determining the true clinical relevance of metabolites observed in association with cardiovascular disease outcomes. Progress made in addressing these challenges will allow metabolomics the potential to substantially affect diagnostics and therapeutics in cardiovascular medicine.