Metabolomics, a novel tool for studies of nutrition, metabolism and lipid dysfunction

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Dec;19(11):816-24. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2009.04.018. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Aims: In this review metabolomics is introduced in historic perspective, with key platforms and bioinformatics methodologies described. An overview is provided covering recent applications of metabolomics and lipidomics in the context of human physiology, lipid metabolism and nutrition.

Data synthesis: Global coverage of human metabolome requires application of multiple analytical platforms. The choice of a particular targeted or non-targeted analytical strategy depends on the hypothesis tested, state-of-the-art in the field, as well as on sample availability. Human metabolome has been shown to be sensitive to age, gut microbial composition, and lifestyle. Several studies have shown that, given the appropriate experimental design, subtle effects of interventions such as change of diet or weight loss can be detected by metabolomics and studied in the context of human physiology and health status.

Conclusion: Metabolome provides a sensitive intermediate phenotype linking the genotype, gut microbial composition and personal health status. Innovative experimental designs combined with novel computational tools for handling metabolomics data offer new opportunities for early disease detection as well as for characterization of dietary and therapeutic interventions in the context of human physiology.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology
  • Dyslipidemias / metabolism*
  • Dyslipidemias / physiopathology
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Metabolomics* / history
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Phenotype
  • Systems Biology