Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2017Peer reviewed

Metabolic changes in serum metabolome in response to a meal

Shrestha, Aahana; Mullner, Elisabeth; Poutanen, Kaisa; Mykkanen, Hannu; Moazzami, Ali A.


The change in serum metabolic response from fasting state to postprandial state provides novel insights into the impact of a single meal on human metabolism. Therefore, this study explored changes in serum metabolite profile after a single meal.Nineteen healthy postmenopausal women with normal glucose tolerance participated in the study. They received a meal consisting of refined wheat bread (50 g carbohydrates, 9 g protein, 4.2 g fat and 2.7 g dietary fibre), 40 g cucumber and 300 mL noncaloric orange drink. Blood samples were collected at fasting and five postprandial time points. Metabolic profile was measured by nuclear magnetic resonance and targeted liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Changes over time were assessed with multivariate models and ANOVA, with baseline as control.The metabolomic analyses demonstrated alterations in phospholipids, amino acids and their breakdown products, glycolytic products, acylcarnitines and ketone bodies after a single meal. More specifically, phosphatidylcholines, lysophosphatidylcholines and citrate displayed an overall declining pattern, while leucine, isoleucine, methionine and succinate increased initially but declined thereafter. A sharp decline in acylcarnitines and ketone bodies and increase in glycolytic products postprandially suggest a switch in the body's energy source from beta-oxidation to glycolysis. Moreover, individuals with relatively high postprandial insulin responses generated a higher postprandial leucine responses compared to participants with lower insulin responses.The study demonstrated complex changes from catabolic to anabolic metabolism after a meal and indicated that the extent of postprandial responses is different between individuals with high and low insulin response.


Metabolomics; Postprandial changes; Insulin; Amino acid; Acylcarnitine; Glycolytic products; Phosphatidylcholine

Published in

European Journal of Nutrition
2017, Volume: 56, number: 2, pages: 671-681

      SLU Authors

    • Shrestha, Aahana

      • The Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Müllner, Elisabeth

        • The Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
        • Moazzami, Ali

          • The Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

        Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG3 Good health and well-being
        SDG5 Gender equality

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Nutrition and Dietetics

        Publication identifier


        Permanent link to this page (URI)