Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Metabolomics & Lipidomics
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Causes of Disease Can Be Revealed By Metabolic Fingerprinting, According to 'Metabolome-Wide' Study

Published: Monday, April 21, 2008
Last Updated: Monday, April 21, 2008
Bookmark and Share
Your metabolic 'fingerprint' can reveal much about the possible causes of major diseases, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

Your metabolic 'fingerprint' can reveal much about the possible causes of major diseases, according to the first 'metabolome-wide' association study ever carried out, published in the journal Nature.

The study provides new insights into the possible causes of high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, by analyzing the metabolic fingerprints of 4,630 adults in the UK, USA, China and Japan, from their urine samples.

Metabolic fingerprinting looks at the relative levels of many different metabolites, which are the products of metabolism, in a person's blood or urine. Metabolites act as markers which can reveal a lot about how diet and lifestyle contribute to risks for certain diseases.

The research shows that adults in the UK and USA, which have similar incidences of high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, have similar metabolic fingerprints, reflecting similar lifestyles in spite of their geographical distance from one another.

In contrast, although adults in Japan and China have similar genetic profiles, they have very different metabolic fingerprints from one another and from adults in the UK and USA, and also have major differences in the incidence of many diseases.

Japanese people living in the USA have metabolic fingerprints that resemble other people in the USA, and dissimilar fingerprints to their counterparts living in Japan. This shows that lifestyle is a dominant feature in determining metabolism.

Professor Jeremy Nicholson, one of the authors of the research from the Department of Biomolecular Medicine at Imperial College London, said:

"Our research illustrates how metabolome-wide association studies can give us important clues as to the causes of major health problems such as high blood pressure. Metabolic profiling can tell us how specific aspects of a person's diet and how much they drink are contributing to their risks for certain diseases, and these are things which we can't investigate by looking at a person's DNA. What is really important is that we can test out our new hypotheses directly, in a way that is not easy with genetic biomarkers".

Professor Paul Elliott, a co-author of the research from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial College, added: "The flip-side of this is that whereas a person can't alter their DNA, they can change their metabolic profile by changing their diet and lifestyle.

This means that as we figure out where the problems lie, we should also be able to show people ways to reduce their risk of certain diseases."

The new study reveals that people with increased levels of the amino acid alanine, which is found in many foods but which is particularly high in animal protein, have higher blood pressure and also increased energy intake, levels of dietary cholesterol, and body mass index.

People with increased levels of the metabolite formate have lower blood pressure and increased energy intake. Formate arises from the action of microbes in the gut or as a product of metabolism in the body. Increased levels of hippurate, a by-product of metabolism by microbes in the gut, are found in people with lower blood pressure, lower levels of alcohol intake, and higher levels of dietary fibre.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Urine Profiles Provide Clues To How Obesity Causes Disease
Scientists have identified chemical markers in urine associated with body mass, providing insights into how obesity causes disease.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Light-activated Drug Could Reduce Side Effects of Diabetes Medication
Scientists have created a drug for type 2 diabetes that is switched on by blue light, which they hope will improve treatment of the disease.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Metabolic 'Fingerprinting' of Tumours Could Help Bowel Cancer Patients
New research makes it possible to see how advanced a bowel cancer is by looking at its metabolic 'fingerprint.'
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
New Laboratory Aims to Revolutionise Surgery with Real-Time Metabolic Profiling
Metabolic profiling of tissue samples could transform the way surgeons make decisions in the operating theatre, say researchers at a new laboratory being launched today.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Some Morbidly Obese People are Missing Genes, Shows New Research
According to the new findings, around seven in every thousand morbidly obese people are missing a part of their DNA.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Heart Rhythm Gene Revealed in new Research
Discovery could help scientists design more targeted drugs to prevent and treat certain heart problems.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Research Reveals Exactly How Coughing is Triggered by Environmental Irritants
Scientists identify the reaction inside the lungs that can trigger coughing when a person is exposed to particular irritants in the air.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Ironing Out the Genetic Cause of Hemoglobin Problems
A gene with a significant effect on regulating hemoglobin in the body has been identified as part of a genome-wide association study.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Scientists Discover new Genetic Variation that Contributes to Diabetes
Study identifies a genetic variation in people with type 2 diabetes that affects how the body's muscle cells respond to the hormone insulin.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Think Zinc: Molecular Sensor Could Reveal Zinc's Role in Diseases
Scientists develop a new molecular sensor to analyze the amount of zinc in cells.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Urine Samples could be Used to Predict Responses to Drugs, Say Researchers
Researchers show possibility to predict how different individuals would deal with one drug by looking at metabolites in their urine.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Glutamic Acid Linked to Lower Blood Pressure
The new research suggests that glutamic acid may be one of the components of vegetable protein linked to lower blood pressure.
Monday, July 06, 2009
On-the-spot DNA Analysis to Test Tolerance to Prescription Drugs Gets Closer
A handheld device to predict whether patients will respond adversely to medication is one step closer to the market.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Childhood Obesity Risk Increased 50 Percent by new Genetic Mutations, Says Study
Three new genetic mutations that together can increase a very young child's risk of becoming obese by 50 percent are revealed in a new study.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Common Mutations Linked to Common Obesity in Europeans
Scientists have discovered two common genetic mutations in people of European ancestry, which affect the production of several hormones controlling our appetite.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Scientific News
Drug May Prevent Life-Threatening Muscle Loss in Advanced Cancers
New data describes how an experimental drug can stop life-threatening muscle wasting (cachexia) associated with advanced cancers and restore muscle health.
Cancer-Fighting Tomato Component Traced
The metabolic pathway associated with lycopene, the bioactive red pigment found in tomatoes, has been traced by researchers at the University of Illinois.
Circadian Clock Controls Insulin and Blood Sugar in Pancreas
Map of thousands of genes suggests new therapeutic targets for diabetes.
Cellular Stress Process Identified in Cardiovascular Disease
Combining the investigative tools of genetics, transcriptomics, epigenetics and metabolomics, a Duke Medicine research team has identified a new molecular pathway involved in heart attacks and death from heart disease.
Predicting Adverse Drug Reactions with Higher Confidence
A new integrated computational method helps predicting adverse drug reaction—which are often lethal—more reliably than with traditional computing methods.
A New Way to Starve Lung Cancer?
Metabolic alterations in lung cancer may open new avenues for treating the disease.
Evidence of How Incurable Cancer Develops
Researchers in the West Midlands have made a breakthrough in explaining how an incurable type of blood cancer develops from an often symptomless prior blood disorder.
Building a Better Liposome
Computational models suggest new design for nanoparticles used in targeted drug delivery.
Breast Cancer Drug Beats Superbug
Tamoxifen helps white blood cells clear multidrug-resistant bacteria in lab and mouse studies.
Antioxidants Cause Malignant Melanoma to Metastasize Faster
Fresh research at Sahlgrenska Academy has found that antioxidants can double the rate of melanoma metastasis in mice.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos