LeMieux, M, et al., Metabolic Profiling in Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders. Advances in Nutrition, 2013. 4(548-550.
Nutrients exert potent effects on metabolism through a variety of regulatory mechanisms, resulting in local and systemic changes in metabolite levels. Numerous studies have focused on mechanisms by which nutrients and disease states regulate metabolism at the gene or protein levels using genomic and proteomic approaches, respectively. However, few studies have investigated nutritional regulation of the whole metabolome. Thus, metabolomic approaches have recently emerged to complement the genomics and proteomics research and to help identify biologically meaningful metabolites and metabolic networks that control cellular responses to genetic and environmental factors, including diet, and to identify metabolic diseases that are influenced by genetic and dietary factors. These large-scale studies expedite our ability to develop targeted treatments. The goal of this symposium was to provide a forum to introduce the metabolomics field to nutrition researchers. An overview of the state-of-the-art metabolomic technologies used was provided. The impact of some specific nutrients, disease states, or genetic variations and their interaction with the metabolome was discussed by the speakers. Our objectives were as follows: 1) to educate the audience about the use of metabolomics as an innovative tool for linking changes in cell metabolites and genetic variations to nutrient metabolism, energy balance, and the overlying effects on health and disease; 2) to understand the concept of metabolomics and describe the analytical tools and resources available in this area; 3) to introduce the potential application of metabolomics in the field of nutrition research; and 4) to provide specific nutrition-relevant metabolomics study examples in investigating regulation of the metabolic network or metabolic changes resulting from disease states by dietary factors.