1H NMR metabolomics study of age profiling in children

Haiwei Gu, Zhengzheng Pan, Bowei Xi, Bryan E. Hainline, Narasimhamurthy Shanaiah, Vincent Asiago, G. A.Nagana Gowda, Daniel Raftery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Metabolic profiling of urine provides a fingerprint of personalized endogenous metabolite markers that correlate to a number of factors such as gender, disease, diet, toxicity, medication, and age. It is important to study these factors individually, if possible to unravel their unique contributions. In this study, age-related metabolic changes in children of age 12 years and below were analyzed by 1H NMR spectroscopy of urine. The effect of age on the urinary metabolite profile was observed as a distinct age-dependent clustering even from the unsupervised principal component analysis. Further analysis, using partial least squares with orthogonal signal correction regression with respect to age, resulted in the identification of an age-related metabolic profile. Metabolites that correlated with age included creatinine, creatine, glycine, betaine/TMAO, citrate, succinate, and acetone. Although creatinine increased with age, all the other metabolites decreased. These results may be potentially useful in assessing the biological age (as opposed to chronological) of young humans as well as in providing a deeper understanding of the confounding factors in the application of metabolomics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-833
Number of pages8
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Age
  • Human urine
  • Metabolite profiling
  • Metabolomics
  • Metabonomics
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Orthogonal signal correction
  • Principal component analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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