Individual variation in macronutrient regulation measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of human plasma

Youngja Park, Bum Kim Seoung, Bing Wang, Roberto A. Blanco, Ngoc Anh Le, Shaoxiong Wu, Carolyn J. Accardi, R. Wayne Alexander, Thomas R. Ziegler, Dean P. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy of plasma provides a global metabolic profiling method that shows promise for clinical diagnostics. However, cross-sectional studies are complicated by a lack of understanding of intraindividual variation, and this limits experimental design and interpretation of data. The present study determined the diurnal variation detected by 1H NMR spectroscopy of human plasma. Data reduction methods revealed three time-of-day metabolic patterns, which were associated with morning, afternoon, and night. Major discriminatory regions for these time-of-day patterns included the various kinds of lipid signals (-CH 2- and -CH2OCOR), and the region between 3 and 4 ppm heavily overlapped with amino acids that had α-CH and α-CH2. The phasing and duration of time-of-day patterns were variable among individuals, apparently because of individual difference in food processing/digestion and absorption and clearance of macronutrient energy sources (fat, protein, carbohydrate). The times of day that were most consistent among individuals, and therefore most useful for cross-sectional studies, were fasting morning (0830-0930), postprandial afternoon (1430-1630), and nighttime samples (0430-0530). Importantly, the integrated picture of metabolism provided by 1H-NMR spectroscopy of plasma suggests that this approach is suitable to study complex regulatory processes, including eating patterns/eating disorders, upper gastrointestinal functions (gastric emptying, pancreatic, biliary functions), and absorption/clearance of macronutrients. Hence, 1H-NMR spectroscopy of plasma could provide a global metabolic tolerance test to assess complex processes involved in disease, including eating disorders and the range of physiological processes causing dysregulation of energy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R202-R209
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul


  • Diurnal variation
  • Eating disorders
  • Gastrointestinal regulation
  • Metabolomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Individual variation in macronutrient regulation measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of human plasma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this