Mette Søndergaard Schmedes

PhD Student, Former employee

Mette Søndergaard Schmedes
See relations at Aarhus University


PhD project: Metabolomic studies on the postprandial response – gaining broader insight into the multiple biochemical and physiological processes



The physiological and biochemical response to a meal intake is complex. The main purpose comprises energy storage that is regulated and defined by insulin and involves metabolic switches in several organs like liver, muscle and adipose tissue. It has been recognized that many of these processes share pathways and control mechanisms that are common to metabolic, inflammatory and oxidative stress processes. Thus, the response to a ‘‘simple’’ glucose bolus involves modulation of glucose itself, triglycerides, blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation and, which demonstrates that the postprandial response involves multiple complex factors. Intriguingly, there is also increasing evidence that the postprandial state is an important contributing factor to chronic disease. This has been ascribed to the fact that the postprandial state is a pro-oxidant state, and that the postprandial period is a time of active oxidative metabolism and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). An imbalance between oxidant generation and antioxidant defence in favour of oxidants potentially leading to biological dysfunction and/or damage is referred to as oxidative stress and it has been proposed that such a mechanism is the reason for a link between the postprandial state and risk of diet-related diseases. However, many causes and aspects in the dynamic postprandial state remain presently unexplored, and an improved biochemical description of the complex post prandial processes could pave the way for improving our understanding of the critical processes in the postprandial state and the impact on health.



The overall aim is to elucidate the potential of omics approaches for mapping and describing the post prandial processes.


Research outline

Different spectroscopic techniques including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) will be applied on blood samples collected from human subjects after intake of either a lean seafood diet and a diet based on other protein sources (chicken, beef, pork, veal, eggs, dairy products). In order to investigate and identify causes of variation in the blood metabolome multivariate data analysis (MDA) will be applied. The metabolomic analyses will be supplemented with other relevant analyses such as measurement of LDL oxidation. Metabolomics analyses on urine and fecal samples will also be included in order to elucidate a potential effect of protein source on the composition and activity of the intestinal microbiota.


Partners of collaboration

National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (Bergen, Norge)


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