The emerging roles of next-generation metabolomics in critical care nutrition

Kefeng Li, Henry Hoi Yee Tong, Yuwei Chen, Yizhu Sun, Jing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Critical illness leads to millions of deaths worldwide each year, with a significant surge due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients with critical illness are frequently associated with systemic metabolic disorders and malnutrition. The idea of intervention for critically ill patients through enteral and parenteral nutrition has been paid more and more attention gradually. However, current nutritional therapies focus on evidence-based practice, and there have been lacking holistic approaches for nutritional support assessment. Metabolomics is a well-established omics technique in system biology that enables comprehensive profiling of metabolites in a biological system and thus provides the underlying information expressed and modulated by all other omics layers. In recent years, with the development of high-resolution and accurate mass spectrometry, metabolomics entered a new “generation”, promoting its broader applications in critical care nutrition. In this review, we first described the technological development and milestones of next-generation metabolomics in the past 20 years. We then discussed the emerging roles of next-generation metabolomics in advancing our understanding of critical care nutrition, such as nutritional deficiency risk evaluation, metabolic mechanisms of nutritional therapies, and novel nutrition target identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1213-1224
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • COVID-19
  • Critical illness
  • metabolic mechanisms
  • next-generation metabolomics
  • nutrition support


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