Metabolomics – the complementary field in systems biology: a review on obesity and type 2 diabetes†
Metabolomic studies on obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus have led to a number of mechanistic insights into biomarker discovery and comprehension of disease progression at metabolic levels. This article reviews a series of metabolomic studies carried out in previous and recent years on obesity and type 2 diabetes, which have shown potential metabolic biomarkers for further evaluation of the diseases. Literature including journals and books from Web of Science, Pubmed and related databases reporting on the metabolomics in these particular disorders are reviewed. We herein discuss the potential of reported metabolic biomarkers for a novel understanding of disease processes. These biomarkers include fatty acids, TCA cycle intermediates, carbohydrates, amino acids, choline and bile acids. The biological activities and aetiological pathways of metabolites of interest in driving these intricate processes are explained. The data from various publications supported metabolomics as an effective strategy in the identification of novel biomarkers for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Accelerating interest in the perspective of metabolomics to complement other fields in systems biology towards the in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the diseases is also well appreciated. In conclusion, metabolomics can be used as one of the alternative approaches in biomarker discovery and the novel understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms in obesity and type 2 diabetes. It can be foreseen that there will be an increasing research interest to combine metabolomics with other omics platforms towards the establishment of detailed mechanistic evidence associated with the disease processes.