Scope: Exhaled volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a possible relevant target for noninvasive assessment of metabolic responses. Using a breathomics approach, it is aimed to explore whether lipid intake influences VOC profiles in exhaled air, and to obtain insight in intra- and interindividual variations. Methods and results: Three human interventions are performed. In the first, 12 males consume a high-fat drink on three study days. In the second, 12 males receive a high- and a low-fat drink on 6 days. In the third, three volunteers consume the high-fat drink again for tentative compound identification. Participants are asked to exhale, for 5 h postprandial with 15–20 min intervals, into a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer, and VOCs in exhaled air are measured. Consumption of a drink alters the VOC profile, with considerable interindividual variation and quantitative intraindividual differences between days. Consumption of two different drinks results in a distinct VOC profile, caused by several specific m/z values. Most of these compounds are identified as being related to ketone body formation and lipid oxidation, showing an increase in high- versus low-fat drink. Conclusion: Exhaled VOCs have the potential to assess differences in metabolic responses induced by nutrition, especially when day-to-day variation can be minimized.
- breath analysis
- inter- and intraindividual variation
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs)