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The role of metabolomics in determination of new dietary biomarkers

  • A. O'Gorman (a1) and L. Brennan (a1)

Traditional methods for the assessment of dietary intake are prone to error; in order to improve and enhance these methods increasing interest in the identification of dietary biomarkers has materialised. Metabolomics has emerged as a key tool in the area of dietary biomarker discovery and to date the use of metabolomics has identified a number of putative biomarkers. Applications to identify novel biomarkers of intake have in general taken three approaches: (1) specific acute intervention studies to identify specific biomarkers of intake; (2) searching for biomarkers in cohort studies by correlating to self-reported intake of a specific food/food group(s); (3) analysing dietary patterns in conjunction with metabolomic profiles to identify biomarkers and nutritypes. A number of analytical technologies are employed in metabolomics as currently there is no single technique capable of measuring the entire metabolome. These approaches each have their own advantages and disadvantages. The present review will provide an overview of current technologies and applications of metabolomics in the determination of new dietary biomarkers. In addition, it will address some of the current challenges in the field and future outlooks.

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* Corresponding author: Dr A. O'Gorman, email
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