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Gastrointestinal Solutions

Understanding Gut Disorders

Gastrointestinal diseases (GI diseases) are some of the most common disorders to affect the quality of life for humans, and animals worldwide. While their prevalence is undoubted, studies into detection, prevention, and therapeutics lag behind other major inflammatory response research due to the complex nature of the interconnected gastrointestinal system. Explore how advanced metabolomics insights can support your gastrointestinal research and contribute to the betterment of gut health worldwide.

Understand Disease Susceptibility

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 60 to 70 million people in the U.S. are affected by some type of digestive disease1. GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are estimated to impact between 25 and 45 million Americans and about 10 to 15 percent of the population worldwide. In addition, gastrointestinal cancers account for 26.4% of incidences of new cancer cases and 36.3% of cancer-related deaths worldwide in 20202. With so many affected people, the unmet need to help diagnose and care for these patients is clear1.

Metabolomics can aid in investigating the interplay of genetics, diet, and the microbiome in health maintenance and particularly in complex, multifactorial diseases of the digestive tract. Therefore, this cutting-edge technology can reveal actionable insights about the state of health offering tremendous value to understanding disease susceptibility, as well as treatment approaches.

Decipher Mechanisms in the Gastrointestinal Tract

Identifying the small molecules produced by microbial communities and how they modulate physiological processes in the host has enabled a functional understanding of gut microbial activity. Metabolon deciphers thousands of discrete chemical signals and connects them in biological pathways that are not captured by other ‘omics, providing a definitive representation of the phenotype.

Identify Gastrointestinal Disease Biomarkers

Understanding the underlying biology of chronic GI diseases is important in identifying biomarkers that will enable disease prevention, detection, and optimal treatment efficacy. With our industry-leading library of over 5400 metabolites, Metabolon has the broadest coverage and capability to see potential biomarkers in your data. Combined with 20+ years of experience and our team of expert systems biologists, we are able to work more effectively together with you to design a biomarker-focused study that accelerates discovery, avoids roadblocks, and provides the necessary actionable information for progressing your research.

See how Metabolon can advance your path to preclinical and clinical insights

Metabolomics Panels for Gastrointestinal Applications

Our readily available or custom developed quantitative assays help you achieve your research and biomarker validation objectives with precise and fully validated methods. Our targeted assays and panels cover >1000 metabolites and lipids across a wide range of biochemical classes, metabolic pathways and physiological processes, and they can be customized to best fit any application.

Bile Acids Targeted Panel

Bile acids are derived from cholesterol and serve an important role in emulsifying and digesting lipids. In addition, their metabolism is intimately involved with the microbiota, and they have been shown to exhibit endocrine and metabolic activity via receptors like FXR and TGR5. The Bile Acids Targeted Panel measures all the major human and rodent primary and secondary bile acids as well as their glycine and taurine conjugates.
Bile Acids Targeted Panel
C4 Single Analyte Assay

C4 Single Analyte Assay

7-α-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one (C4) is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of bile acids from cholesterol. The precursor to C4 is 7α-hydroxycholesterol which is produced from cholesterol via the hepatic enzyme, 7α-hydroxylase. 7-α-hydroxylase catalyzes the rate-limiting step in bile acid synthesis and its activity is tightly regulated via the FXR receptor. Measurement of the stable metabolite C4, a product of the next oxidative enzymatic reaction after 7-α-hydroxylase, is reflective of hepatic de-novo bile acid synthesis and FXR receptor activation. Bile acid malabsorption is associated with a variety of gastrointestinal pathologies (eg, irritable bowel syndrome, ileal disease) and is characterized by elevated serum C4 levels.

Indoles/Uremic Toxicity Targeted Panel

Uremic toxicity is the buildup of toxic analytes that are not able to be adequately filtered by the kidneys due to kidney injury or disease. Indole metabolites of tryptophan, the tyrosine metabolite p-cresol sulfate and 4-ethylphenyl sulfate are a key group of gut microbiota-derived uremic compounds. Their formation is the result of a complex interaction between diet, gut microbiota and host. Increased production of these compounds by the gut microbiota and reduced clearance in kidney disease can lead to toxicity affecting nearly all systems in the body.
Indoles/Uremic Toxicity Targeted Panel
Short Chain Fatty Acids Targeted Panel

Short Chain Fatty Acids Targeted Panel

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced in the colon by the gut microbiota. They are the end products of anaerobic fermentation of dietary fibers and protein/peptides in the small intestine. Their formation is the result of a complex interaction between diet, gut microbiota, and host. SCFAs influence the physiology of the colon serving as energy sources by host cells and the intestinal microbiota as well as participating in different host signaling mechanisms.

Tryptophan/Kynurenine Ratio Targeted Panel

The kynurenine pathway is a metabolic pathway leading to the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) from the enzymatic conversion of tryptophan. Immune activation leads to the formation of kynurenine with corresponding loss of tryptophan.

The kynurenine/tryptophan ratio has been used to reflect the activity of the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in cellular inflammatory response related to symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and other neurological disease.

Tryptophan Kynurenine Ratio Targeted Panel
Vancomycin Single Analyte Assay

Vancomycin Single Analyte Assay

Vancomycin is an antibiotic medication that is used to treat infections in many different parts of the body. Intravenous treatment with Vancomycin is used to treat infections caused by susceptible organisms resistant to penicillin or for some antibacterial prophylaxis in penicillin-hypersensitive individuals. When taken orally, Vancomycin is used to treat an infection of the intestines caused by Clostridium difficile that causes severe diarrhea. Oral Vancomycin is also used to treat staph infections that can cause enterocolitis, an inflammation of the small intestines and colon.
“Metabolomics is clearly linked to genotype and, more interestingly, to phenotype. It allows a unique view of the relationships among genes, gene expression, environments, lifestyles, microbiomes, treatments, and pathologies.”2

Metabolon in Action

Beyond Service Provider to Solution Driver

Metabolon works with a leading provider of products for biological sample collection, stabilization & preparation to validate a metabolomic approach to support functional understanding of the gut microbiome.

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Gut Microbiome and Blood

Metabolon helps decode the connection between gut microbiome and blood.

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Clinical Trial Design

The power of metabolomics is channeled to navigate uncharted regulatory pathways for microbiome therapeutic development.

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The Impact of Probiotic Supplementation on Low Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

Metabolomics identified a number of potential biomarkers that link changes in the gut microbiota to changes in metabolomics that affect bone metabolism in aging women. Supplementation of the probiotic L. reuteri led to an increase in the serum levels of key amino acids that may regulate bone metabolism in older women.

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A Biomarker for Ulcerative Colitis

Translational research tools like the Metabolon Global Discovery Panel offer the ability to analyze serum and colonic metabolomic profiles of individuals with gastrointestinal diseases. This technology enables the identification of novel biomarkers (metabolites) that might otherwise go undetected and can be used as therapeutic targets or to assess intestinal disease progression and severity. This study found that indole-3-propionic acid (IPA) can be used as both a biomarker for active ulcerative colitis as well as an indicator of disease remission in human ulcerative colitis.

Read the case study

Interested in Further Studies?

Why Metabolon?

Once you see the full value of metabolomics, the only remaining question is who does it best? While many laboratories have metabolite profiling or analytical chemistry capabilities, comprehensive metabolomics technologies are extremely rare. Accurate, unbiased metabolite identification across the entire metabolome introduces signal-to-noise challenges that very few labs are equipped to handle. Also, translating massive quantities of data into actionable information is slow, if not impossible, for most because proper interpretation takes two things that are in short supply: experience and a comprehensive database.

Only Metabolon has all four core metabolomics capabilities



Ability to interrogate thousands of metabolites across diverse biochemical space, revealing new insights and opportunities



Ability to integrate the data from different studies into the same dataset, in different geographies, among different patients over time



Ability to inform on proper study design, generate high‐quality data, derive biological insights, and make actionable recommendations



Ability to process hundreds of thousands of samples quickly and cost‐efficiently to service rapidly growing demand

Partner with Metabolon to access:


A library of 5,400+ known metabolites, 2,000 in human plasma, all referenced in the context of biochemical pathways

  • That’s 5x the metabolites of the closest competitor

Unparalleled depth and breadth of experience analyzing and interpreting metabolomic data to find meaningful results

  • 10,000+ projects with hundreds of clients
  • 2,000+ publications covering 500 diseases, including numerous peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, Nature and Science
  • Nearly 40 PhDs in data science, molecular biology, and biochemistry

Using our robust platform and visualization tools, our experts are uniquely able to tell you more about your molecule and develop assay panels to help you zero in on the results you need.

Contact Us

Talk with an expert

Request a quote for our services, get more information on sample types and handling procedures, request a letter of support, or submit a question about how metabolomics can advance your research.

Corporate Headquarters

617 Davis Drive, Suite 100
Morrisville, NC 27560

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 110407
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

+1 (919) 572-1721


1. Malinowska JM, Viant MR. Confidence in metabolite identification dictates the applicability of metabolomics to regulatory toxicology. Current Opinion in Toxicology. 2019/08/01/ 2019;16:32-38. doi:10.1016/j.cotox.2019.03.006

2. Frédérich M, Pirotte B, Fillet M, de Tullio P. Metabolomics as a Challenging Approach for Medicinal Chemistry and Personalized Medicine. Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2016;59 19:8649-8666.

3. Zgoda-Pols JR, Chowdhury S, Wirth M, Milburn MV, Alexander DC, Alton KB. Metabolomics analysis reveals elevation of 3-indoxyl sulfate in plasma and brain during chemically-induced acute kidney injury in mice: investigation of nicotinic acid receptor agonists. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. Aug 15 2011;255(1):48-56. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2011.05.015

4. Wang G, Korfmacher WA. Development of a biomarker assay for 3-indoxyl sulfate in mouse plasma and brain by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. Jul 2009;23(13):2061-9. doi:10.1002/rcm.4111

5. Loomba R, Kayali Z, Noureddin M, et al. GS-0976 Reduces Hepatic Steatosis and Fibrosis Markers in Patients With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Gastroenterology. Nov 2018;155(5):1463-1473.e6. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2018.07.027