Kinross, J.; Li, J.V.; Muirhead, L.J.; Nicholson, J.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Metabolic profiling technologies provide a global overview of complex dietary processes. Metabonomic analytical approaches have now been translated into multiple areas of clinical nutritional research based on the widespread adoption of high-throughput mass spectrometry and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This has generated novel insights into the molecular mechanisms that shape the microbiome-dietary-chronic disease axis. RECENT FINDINGS: Metabolome-wide association studies have created a new paradigm in nutritional molecular epidemiology and they have highlighted the importance of gut microbial cometabolic processes in the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Targeted analyses are helping to explain the mechanisms by which high-risk diets (such as red meat) modulate disease risk and they are generating novel biomarkers that will serve to re-define how the efficacy of nutritional interventions is assessed. Nutritional metabonome-microbiome interactions have also been defined in extreme dietary states such as obesity and starvation, and they also serve as important models for understanding how the gut microbiome modifies disease risk. Finally, nutritional systems medicine approaches are creating novel insights into the functional components of our diet, and the mechanisms by which they cause disease. SUMMARY: Diet is an important modulator of the human metabolic phenotype and the analysis of the nutritional metabolome will drive future development of personalized nutritional interventions. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.