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Urinary 1H-NMR Metabonomics Study on Intervention Effects of Soya Milk in Africans


S. W. Annie Bligh, Institute for Health Research and Policy, London Metropolitan University, 166–220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB, UK. E-mail:


Metabonomics is an important tool in understanding the toxicological or therapeutic effects of interventions by analysing metabolic profiles and interpreting complex multi-dimensional spectroscopic/spectrometric data using multivariate data analysis. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the metabolic changes following a short-term 5 day soya milk intervention, and to investigate factors that influence soy-phytoestrogen metabolism focused on Africans based in either UK or Nigeria. 1H-NMR metabonomics was applied to analyse urine samples collected at four phases I–IV (pre, days 3 and 5, and post) of the soy-intervention from African volunteers (n = 40 in total). Individual proton NMR spectra were visually and statistically assessed using multivariate analyses (MVA): principal component analysis (PCA) and (orthogonal-) partial-least square–discriminant analysis ((O-) PLS-DA). In addition, 22 endogenous metabolites were quantified using a Chenomx NMR suite. The results showed the levels of analysed endogenous metabolites (creatinine adjusted) present ranged from 4 µ m to 12 m m with large inter-subject variances in acetate, acetone, lactate and trimethylamine. The MVA results showed high inter-individuality and sampling variances based on PCA score plots, and demonstrated soy metabolism to be significantly influenced by location and gender by both PLS-DA and O-PLS-DA. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.