Metabolomics’ Approach in HM Research
Metabolomics is a relatively new area of nutritional science: it is the nexus between the food that we eat and its effect on the microbiome and how that affects overall health. Metabolomics takes a holistic view of the genome/epigenome, alongside diet and environmental factors and the gut microbiome.
The overall goal of this approach is to map all the information together: we want to be able to define a metabolic phenotype. This is useful if we want to properly understand overall health as the infant grows into adulthood.
Carolyn Slupsky notes that human milk is complex and dynamic. She outlines research using the metabolomics approach comparing breastfed and formula fed infants. Changes to infant formula can impact the metabolic phenotype and metabolism as well as the microbiome structure and function. As we improve infant formulas, there is an opportunity to see the impact metabolically.