The growing field called Metabolomics detects and quantifies the low molecular weight
molecules, known as metabolites (constituents of the metabolome), produced by active,
living cells under different conditions and times in their life cycles. NMR is playing an
important role in metabolomics because of its ability to observe mixtures of small molecules
in living cells or in cell extracts.
The words 'Metabolomics' and 'Metabonomics' are often used interchangably, though a
consensus is beginning to develop as to the specific meaning of each. The goals of
Metabolomics are to catalog and quantify the myriad small molecules found in
biological fluids under different conditions. Metabonomics is the study of how the
metabolic profile of a complex biological system changes in response to stresses like
disease, toxic exposure, or dietary change.