This research line coordinates the metabolomics facilities of the Centre for Nutrition Research.
Metabolomics is the discipline dedicated to the global study of small molecules, that is, metabolites and their dynamics, composition, interactions and responses to environmental interventions or changes in cells, tissues and biological fluids (eg, serum, urine, feces). It is an excellent tool for the monitoring of nutritional interventions due to its position closer to the phenotype than the other omics. The analytical strategy can be broadly divided into directed and non-directed:
The non-directed approach is focused on studying the metabolome in the broadest possible way and, at the same time, quantifying at least the difference in the levels of the various metabolites (simultaneous analysis of thousands of metabolites in search of changes in their concentration). This approach allows not only to characterize changes in the general metabolic profile but also to detect previously unknown metabolites. By combining these analytical techniques with the appropriate bioinformatics tools, it is possible to, define biomarkers or monitor physiological changes induced by treatments.
The directed approach is limited to a pre-determined set of metabolites and is able to validate critical biological pathways or confim an untargeted study.