• 1H-NMR spectroscopy to investigate the effects of food on animals and humans through metabolomics

Zhu, Chenglin


CHIM/06 Chimica organica


Metabolomics have proven highly effective for unravelling the complex metabolomic interactions between food and health. 1H-NMR has provided abundant information when the animal metabolism response to feed characteristics was evaluated or when the connection between health status of people and food composition was investigated. As a first step of the PhD work, standard operating procedures (SOPs) were setup to investigate the metabolome of serum, feces, urine and meat by means of 1H-NMR. The SOPs were outlined so to be of general applicability for metabolomics investigation of any animal. The SOPs gave the opportunity to face new projects which highlighted effects of food on the metabolism of animals and humans. In order to gain confidence about metabolomic investigations on animal studies, a simple trial focused on arginine supplementation for broiler chickens was setup at the first stage. We found that arginine supplementation improved food efficiency in fast-growing broiler chickens. Second, a complex trial relating to probiotics administration for horses was performed. Such trial was considered as an intermediate step to provide references for the final goal. As a result, some potential biomarkers suggested that a likely mechanism was linked to the change of energy source in muscle from carbohydrates to short-chain fatty acids. Finally, the effects of probiotics on human health was investigated through two experiments aiming to provide evidences of probiotic supplementation on the treatments of gastrointestinal diseases. It was the first trial aiming to assess safety and efficacy of a mixture of probiotics for the treatment of infantile colic in exclusively breastfed infants. We found propylene glycol was considered as the potential candidate molecules of individuals supplemented with probiotics. In terms of the treatments of symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD), short chain fatty acids production seemed to play a mainstay role in the complex metabolic pathway characterizing SUDD patients.




Tesi di dottorato






Zhu, Chenglin (2020) 1H-NMR spectroscopy to investigate the effects of food on animals and humans through metabolomics, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari , 32 Ciclo.