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Postgenomics research and development is witnessing novel intersections of omics data intensive technology and applications in health and personalized nutrition. Chief among these is the nascent field of nutri-metabolomics that harnesses metabolomics platforms to discern person-to-person variations in nutritional responses. To this end, differences in the origin and ripening stage of fruits might have a strong impact on their phytochemical composition, and consequently, on their potential nutri-metabolomics effects on health. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a 4-week cross-over nutritional intervention on the metabolic status of 24 young healthy subjects. The intervention was carried out with two tomato sauces differing in their natural lycopene content, which was achieved by using tomatoes harvested at different times. Blood samples were drawn from each subject before and after each intervention period. Aqueous and lipid extracts from serum samples were analyzed by 1H-NMR metabolic profiling combined with analysis of variance simultaneous component analysis (ASCA) and multilevel simultaneous component analysis (MSCA). These methods allowed the interpretation of the variation induced by the main factors of the study design (sauce treatment and time). The levels of creatine, creatinine, leucine, choline, methionine, and acetate in aqueous extracts were increased after the intervention with the high-lycopene content sauce, while those of ascorbic acid, lactate, pyruvate, isoleucine, alanine were increased after the normal-lycopene content sauce. In conclusion, NMR-based metabolomics of aqueous and lipid extracts allowed the detection of different metabolic changes after the nutritional intervention. This outcome might partly be due to the different ripening state of the fruits used in production of the tomato sauces. The findings presented herein collectively attest to the emergence of the field of nutri-metabolomics as a novel subspecialty of postgenomics integrative biology.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





611 - 618


Adult, Amino Acids, Antioxidants, Carotenoids, Cross-Over Studies, Double-Blind Method, Female, Humans, Lipids, Lycopene, Lycopersicon esculentum, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Metabolomics, Middle Aged, Principal Component Analysis