Purpose of review
The current rise in diet-related diseases continues to be one of the most significant health problems facing both the developed and the developing world. The use of metabolomics – the accurate and comprehensive measurement of a significant fraction of important metabolites in accessible biological fluids – for the assessment of nutritional status, is a promising way forward. The basic toolset, targets, and knowledge are all being developed in the emerging field of metabolomics, yet important knowledge and technology gaps will need to be addressed in order to bring such assessment to practice.
Dysregulation within the principal metabolic organs (e.g. intestine, adipose, skeletal muscle, liver) are at the center of a diet-disease paradigm that includes metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. The assessment of both essential nutrient status, and the more comprehensive systemic metabolic response to dietary, lifestyle, and environmental influences (e.g. metabolic phenotype) are necessary for the evaluation of status in individuals that can identify the multiple targets of intervention needed to address metabolic disease.
The first proofs of principle building the knowledge to bring actionable metabolic diagnostics to practice through metabolomics are now appearing.
Keywords: Health Assessment, Metabolic Assessment, Nutritional Assessment, Metabolic Phenotype, Metabolomics