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Advancing Safety, Availability, and Quality of Nutritional Goods

Nutrition forms a critical part of human health and development. Nutritional research covers everything from the agricultural impact of organic produce to the nutritional value of manufactured products, to the quality of water we drink and vitamins or supplements we take. Everything we consume has a unique nutritional value, and understanding the variance can help us understand the global challenge of keeping current and future generations healthy throughout their lifespans. Better nutrition has been linked to improved infant, child, and maternal health, robust immune systems, safer pregnancies and childbirths, and lower risk of non-communicable diseases,1 while poor nutrition can leave people vulnerable to developing many chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.2 Healthy eating habits can help prevent and treat chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.3

Traditional Methods are Unable to Examine the Complex Metabolic Relationships in Nutrition Science

Traditional methods have contributed greatly to our understanding of how nutritional factors contribute to both health and various disease states. However, metabolomics can be essential for investigating the association between nutrition and health status, as metabolites represent a functional readout at the interface between diet, absorption, and the complex metabolic systems that influence both health and disease.4

The Application of Metabolomics in Precision Nutrition

Understanding how to use nutrients and other dietary ingredients to improve health or treat diseases is a challenge for nutritional science. The intention of precision nutrition, an emerging branch of nutritional science, is to use modern technologies to assess an individual’s response to specific foods and dietary patterns to determine the most effective strategy to prevent or treat specific diseases.

Metabolomics can be a powerful tool to inform several aspects of precision nutrition and can be used to characterize a food’s chemical composition, identify specific nutrients in biofluids or tissues, or track the effects of dietary changes on health.

By leveraging our metabolomics platform, the Metabolon Global Discovery Panel, and our unmatched chemical library of metabolites, we can help our clients analyze the principle considerations of pharmacokinetics following dietary interventions and assess the effectiveness of interventions on health status in both humans and pets. Our work with pet food companies has focused on improving the health and longevity of animals.

Metabolon Provides Solutions for Nutrition

A functional understanding of gut microbial activity has been made possible by identifying the small molecules produced by microbial communities and how they modulate physiological processes in the host. To create a precise representation of the phenotype, Metabolon analyzes tens of thousands of discrete chemical signals and links them in biological pathways that other ‘omics do not capture.

The most thorough mechanistic view of the underlying biology is provided by Metabolon’s industry-leading coverage and quality, which accurately identifies over 5,400 metabolites and allows for thorough, accurate, and confident interpretation that provides knowledge rather than just data.

All of Metabolon’s solutions are driven by quality. Our clients can attest that we offer state-of-the-art quality assurance and control at every step of their research journey. Our Quality Management system (QMS) adheres to standards set by The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and is certified by ISO 9001:2015. Every process we conduct is governed by these rigorous standards.

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

Metabolomics Panels for Nutritional Applications

Amino Acids Targeted Panel

Amino acids (AA) are the foundational building blocks for peptides and proteins. These small molecules regulate metabolic pathways that are involved in cell maintenance, growth, reproduction, and immunity. Branched chain amino acids play a large role in building muscle tissue and participate in increasing protein synthesis. Amino acids also play a role in cell signaling, gene expression and protein phosphorylation. Maintaining an optimal balance of amino acids is vital to maintaining a stable equilibrium of physiological processes.
Amino Acids Targeted Panel
Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Single Analyte Assay

Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Single Analyte Assay

β-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB, 3-hydroxybutyrate) is an endogenous ketone body that accumulates during periods of fasting, calorie restriction and prolonged exercise. It is created via a multi-step process involving the break-down of fatty acids into acetyl CoA, conversion to acetoacetate and reduction to β-hydroxybutyrate in the liver. BHB is the primary ketone found in the blood and is necessary for brain function especially when glucose is unavailable. It also provides neuroprotective benefits, such as relieving oxidative stress and inhibition of apoptotic pathway in cells.

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
Central Carbons Targeted Panel

Central Carbons Targeted Panel

Central carbon metabolism involves the enzymatic conversion of sugars into metabolic precursors that are used to generate the entire biomass of the cell. The metabolites in this panel include key citric acid cycle compounds that connect carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. In addition to supplying key metabolic precursors, central carbon metabolism is used to oxidize simple sugar molecules obtained from food to supply energy to living systems. Measurement of central carbon metabolites has great industrial relevance since it may allow the engineering of selected metabolic steps to optimize carbon flow toward precursors for industrially important metabolites.

Free Fatty Acids Targeted Panel

Fatty acids play many physiologically important roles in an organism. They are not only key metabolites of energy storage and production but also the basic building blocks of complex lipids that form cellular membranes. A variety of bioactive forms of fatty acid metabolites, known as lipid mediators, act as local hormones and are involved in many physiological systems and pathological processes. Free fatty acids (FFA, non-esterified fatty acids, NEFA) are the nonbound fraction of the total fatty acid pool. The determination of FFAs in plasma (or serum) is of clinical relevance as the association between FFAs and many diseases is well-known (eg, insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease).
Free Fatty Acids Targeted Panel

Metabolon in Action

Ketogenic Efficacy Through Microbiome Metabolism

A potential treatment for epilepsy without using probiotics is revealed through metabolomics following a ketogenic diet treatment. Metabolon identified hundreds of metabolites, with a large portion of those with significantly altered levels belonging to a class of metabolites called gamma-glutamyl amino acids (GG-AAs). The GG-AAs were found to be reduced in the mice fed a ketogenic diet, suggesting that GG-AA levels were significantly correlated to the number of seizures in the mouse model.

Read the case study

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

Metabolomics identified several potential biomarkers that link changes in the gut microbiota to changes in the bone metabolism of aging women.

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Metabolomics Profiling Impact of Preweaning Nutrition on Growth of Dairy Calves

Metabolomics is a powerful technology that enabled characterization of the main metabolic pathways primed by early-life nutrition. This information can be used to improve preweaning nutrition to facilitate a smoother transition to solid feed and, ultimately, has the potential to help maximize future productive outcomes in dairy cows.

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Metabolic Response to Coffee Consumption

This study provided the first profiling of metabolomic changes in response to persistent coffee consumption. The finding that coffee consumption increased metabolite production from gut microbiota is exciting because numerous studies have reported that gut microbiota changes impact diseases that are associated with persistent coffee consumption. A subset of these metabolites was able to significantly discriminate the non-coffee drinking period from the coffee drinking period.

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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

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Mailing Address:
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+1 (919) 572-1721


1. Nutrition. WHO. Available at Accessed 08-30-2022

2. Disease Prevention. Harvard School of Public Health. Available Accessed 08-30-2022

3. Can You Prevent Chronic Diseases. CDC. Available Accessed 08-30-2022

4. Bennet, B.J., Hall, K.D., et al. Nutrition and the science of disease prevention: a systems approach to support metabolic health. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1352, 1-12. doi:10.1111/nyas.12945