Metabolomic signature of the postprandial experience

Carolina Malagelada, Teodora Pribic, Barbara Ciccantelli, Nicolau Cañellas, Josep Gomez, Nuria Amigo, Anna Accarino, Xavier Correig, Fernando Azpiroz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

5 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Background: Ingestion of a meal up to maximal tolerance induces unpleasant fullness sensation and changes in circulating metabolites. Our aim was to evaluate the relation between postprandial sensations and the metabolomic responses to a comfort meal. Methods: In 32 non-obese healthy men, homeostatic sensations (hunger/satiety, fullness), hedonic sensations (digestive well-being, mood), and the metabolomic profile in plasma (low-molecular weight metabolites and lipoprotein profiles) were measured before and 20 minutes after a comfort meal (warm ham and cheese sandwich and juice; total 300 mL; 425 kcal). Perception was measured on 10 cm scales and the metabolomic response by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Key Results: The comfort meal induced homeostatic sensations (satiety and fullness) associated with a positive hedonic reward (enhanced digestive well-being and mood) and a clear change in the metabolomic profile with a sharp discrimination between the pre and postprandial state by a non-supervised principal component analysis. The change in circulating metabolites correlated with the postprandial sensations: the increase in alanine correlated with the increase in fullness (R = 0.50; P = 0.004) and well-being (R = 0.50; P = 0.004); the increase in glucose correlated with the sensation of fullness (R = 0.40; P = 0.023) and enhanced mood (R = 0.41; P = 0.020). Conclusion and inferences: Metabolomic changes in the response to a meal may provide an objective index of the postprandial experience, which may have clinical implications in the management of patients with poor meal tolerance or meal-related symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13447
Pages (from-to)-
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • hedonic response
  • homeostatic sensations
  • meal ingestion
  • metabolomics
  • plasma
  • postprandial sensations


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