The study of small molecules in body fluids has become an important tool to monitor the state of biological organisms. Applications range from model studies using cell lines to applications where human body fluids are used to monitor disease states or drug responses. NMR spectroscopy has been an important tool for metabolomics although severe overlap of signals has limited the number of compounds, which can be unambiguously identified and quantified. Therefore, deconvolution of NMR spectra is one of the greatest challenges for NMR-based metabolomics. This has commonly been achieved by using multidimensional spectra that have the disadvantage of requiring significantly longer acquisition times. Recently, a number of methods have been described to record NMR spectra much faster. Here, we explore the use of Hadamard-encoded TOCSY spectra to simultaneously select multiple lines from crowded NMR spectra of blood serum samples to acquire pseudo-two-dimensional spectra in minutes which would otherwise require many hours. The potential of this approach is demonstrated for the detection of a signature for colorectal cancer from human blood samples. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.