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Defining personal nutrition and metabolic health through metabonomics.

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BioAnalytical Science, Metabonomics and Biomarkers, Nestlé Research Center, PO Box 44, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland.


A major charter for modern nutrition is to provide a molecular basis for health outcome resulting from different food choices and how this could be designed to maintain individual health free of disease. Nutrigenomic techniques have been developed to generate information at various levels of biological organization, i.e. genes, proteins, and metabolites. Within this frame, metabonomics targets the molecular characterization of a living system through metabolic profiling. The metabolic profiles are explored with sophisticated data mining techniques mainly based on multivariate statistics, which can recover key metabolic information to be further linked to biochemical processes and physiological events. The power of metabonomics relies on its unique ability to assess functional changes in the metabolism of complex organisms stemming from multiple influences such as lifestyle and environmental factors. In particular, metabolic profiles encapsulate information on the metabolic activity of symbiotic partners, i.e. gut microflora, in complex organisms, which represent major determinant in nutrition and health. Therefore, applications of metabonomics to nutrition sciences led to the nutrimetabonomics approach for the classification of dietary responses in populations and the possibility of optimized or personalized nutritional management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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