Mapping the consequenses of physical exercise and nutrition on human health A predictive metabolomics approach
Sammanfattning: Human health is a complex and wide-ranging subject far beyond nutrition and physical exercise. Still, these factors have a huge impact on global health by their ability to prevent diseases and thus promote health. Thus, to identify health risks and benefits, it is necessary to reveal the underlying mechanisms of nutrition and exercise, which in many cases follows a complex chain of events. As a consequence, current health research is generating massive amounts of data from anthropometric parameters, genes, proteins, small molecules (metabolites) et cetera, with the intent to understand these mechanisms. For the study of health responses, especially related to physical exercise and nutrition, alterations in small molecules (metabolites) are in most cases immediate and located close to the phenotypic level and could therefore provide early signs of metabolic imbalances. Since there are roughly as many different responses to exercise and nutrients as there are humans, this quest is highly multifaceted and will benefit from an interpretation of treatment effects on a general as well as on an individual level. This thesis involves the application of chemometric methods to the study of global metabolic reactions, i.e. metabolomics, in a strategy coined predictive metabolomics. Via the application of predictive metabolomics an extensive hypothesis-free biological interpretation has been carried out of metabolite patterns in blood, acquired using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), related to physical exercise, nutrition and diet, all in the context of human health. In addition, the chemometrics methodology have computational benefits concerning the extraction of relevant information from information-rich data as well as for interpreting general treatment effects and individual responses, as exemplified throughout this work. Health concerns all lifestages, thus this thesis presents a strategic framework in combination with comprehensive interpretations of metabolite patterns throughout life. This includes a broad range of human studies revealing metabolic patterns related to the impact of physical exercise, macronutrient modulation and different fitness status in young healthy males, short and long term dietary treatments in overweight post menopausal women as well as metabolic responses related to probiotics treatment and early development in infants. As a result, the studies included in the thesis have revealed metabolic patterns potentially indicative of an anti-catabolic response to macronutrients in the early recovery phase following exercise. Moreover, moderate differences in the metabolome associated with cardiorespiratory fitness level were detected, which could be linked to variation in the inflammatory and antioxidaive defense system. This work also highlighted mechanistic information that could be connected to dietary related weight loss in overweight and obese postmenopausal women in relation to short as well as long term dietary effects based on different macronutrient compositions. Finally, alterations were observed in metabolic profiles in relation to probiotics treatment in the second half of infancy, suggesting possible health benefits of probiotics supplementation at an early age.
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