What is Metabolic Profiling?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2019
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Metabolism is a word that refers to chemical processes that regulate humans’ health. Metabolic profiling is a scientific method which analyzes some of those chemical reactions. Fluids such as plasma and urine are often used to gather the necessary information. An increasing number of professionals believe that profiling a person’s metabolism can allow more personalized and beneficial health decisions.

Metabolic profiling can be done on a single cell or it can be done on the whole body. A basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a group of tests that may be ordered by a physician. There are generally eight tests in the panel, which provide information about functions such blood sugar and electrolyte balance.

The BMP is usually performed by extracting blood. It is often ordered in emergency situations. The results can reveal essential facts about how the kidneys are functioning or what a person’s acid levels are. Drastic level changes can also provide indications of acute problems.

There are more tests that are available besides those done in a BMP. Metabolic profiling is not only used as a tool for problems that are occurring. In some cases, metabolic profiles are used for prevention and efficiency. It is believed that metabolic profiling can be helpful in the early detection of genetic diseases such as Parkinson’s. It may also be used to determine how to treat illnesses and keep the body healthy.


When a person is diagnosed, he is generally treated with the most common methods for that illness. If that treatment is a medication, the amount he should take is sometimes determined based on a general standard. Sometimes, a patient’s dosage is determined by analyzing factors such as age, weight, and height.

Metabolic profiling offers the possibility of a more precise dosage system. In theory, a physician could order tests and analyze a patient’s metabolic profile. This would give the physician information about genetic and environmental factors that may affect a medication’s effectiveness and the amount that is needed to be effective.

Fitness professionals are also beginning to use metabolic profiling to design programs to fit individual needs. People’s bodies differ, meaning that they will burn calories and fat differently. Exercise techniques that work well for one person may illicit little or no response for another. By taking a person’s metabolic profile into account, it is believed that people can achieve higher results from fitness. Metabolic profile factors that are accessed for fitness may include the resting metabolic rate (RMR), carbon dioxide levels in the breath, and the heart rate at which exercise is most beneficial.


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