Theory and Applications of NMR-Based Metabolomics in Human Disease Diagnosis

Abdul Hamid M. Emwas*, Jasmeen S. Merzaban, Hacene Serrai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Metabolomics is a dynamic and emerging research field, joining proteomics, transcriptomics and genomics in affording a comprehensive understanding of biological systems and how these systems are affected by environmental stimuli and/or genetic modification. Metabolomics is particularly helpful for identifying biomarkers of disease processes such as the effects of a high fat diet on cardiovascular disease, providing insight into the interaction between genes and diet. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Mass spectrometry (MS) are the most common analytical tools in metabolomics research. The high reproducibility of NMR-based techniques makes it superior to other analytical techniques especially in terms of searching for new and novel biomarkers in human diseases. Recently, NMR-based metabolomics approaches have been proposed as a promising and powerful technique for diagnosis of several human diseases. They have been used to investigate a wide range of diseases, through the examination of different kinds of human samples, including urine, blood plasma/serum, blister fluid, saliva, as well as intact tissue biopsies and tissue extracts. However, several factors can influence the metabolic balance within the human body and therefore in samples drawn from the body, including gender, age, fasting, diet, emotional stress, drug administration, physical activity and life style, thus complicating the use of NMR-based metabolomics approaches in diagnosing specific human disease. This chapter highlights the potential applications of NMR-based metabolomics approaches as a promising technique for diagnosis of human diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApplications of NMR Spectroscopy
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)9781608059621
ISBN (Print)9781608059638
StatePublished - Nov 23 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank King Abdullah University of Science and Technology for financial support and Dr. Virginia Unkefer and Dr. Zeyad Al-Talla from KAUST for their assistance and helpful remarks.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Biomarker
  • COSY
  • Cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • HMBC
  • HSQC
  • Human disease
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Lactate
  • MRS
  • Metabolic profiling
  • Metabolome
  • Metabolomics
  • Metabonomics
  • NMR
  • Neurological diseases
  • Solvent suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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