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  • Test Details
  • Lab Values
  • Clinical Significance
  • Treatment Options

Explore this test

Test Code 98200

Test Details


The Serum MetaboMap™ is a state-of-the-art 600 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis of 20 important health parameters. These include selected amino acids, keto acids and their derivatives and other metabolic health markers as seen in the clinical significance section. It can also be combined with the LipoMap® test (order code: 98049).


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Patient Preparation

A fast of at least 8 hours is recommended before blood sampling.

Preferred Specimen

1 mL fasting (8 hr minimum) serum collected in Greiner Bio-one Vacuette Z-serum clot activator, red/yellow top tube; or approved alternatives: NMR LipoTube (manufactured by Greiner, Inc.), or S-Monovette® Serum (Sarstedt).

Alternate Specimen


Transport Temperature

Refrigerated (ship on frozen cold packs)


3 days at 2-8°C.

Lab Values

Lab Values


Test NameLowNormalHigh
Essential Amino Acids
Histidine<0.0650.065-0.112>0.112 mmol/L
Isoleucine<0.0310.031-0.075>0.075 mmol/L
Leucine<0.0790.079-0.163>0.163 mmol/L
Lysine<0.1560.156-0.280>0.280 mmol/L
Methionine<0.100≥0.100 mmol/L
Phenylalanine<0.0530.053-0.110>0.110 mmol/L
Valine<0.1780.178-0.315>0.315 mmol/L
Non-Essential Amino Acids
Alanine<0.3430.343-0.615>0.615 mmol/L
Glycine<0.1790.179-0.498>0.498 mmol/L
Proline<0.663≥0.663 mmol/L
Tyrosine<0.0390.039-0.073>0.073 mmol/L
Phenylalanine/Tyrosine Ratio<4.0≥4.0
Metabolic Acids And Their Derivatives
Acetic Acid<0.045≥0.045 mmol/L
Acetone<0.100≥0.100 mmol/L
Pyruvic Acid<0.0420.0420-0.137>0.137 mmol/L
2-Hydroxybutyrate<0.452≥0.452 mmol/L
3-Hydroxybutyrate<0.0500.050-0.281>0.281 mmol/L
General Health Parameters
Glycerol<0.400≥0.400 mmol/L
Choline<0.032≥0.032 mmol/L
OptimalBorderlineIncreased Risk
Glucose3.330-5.5005.500-6.940<3.330 or >6.940 mmol/L
Test Details
Clinical Significance

Clinical Significance


Test NameClinical Significance
Essential Amino Acids
Histidineis required for growth, tissue repair, immunity, and neurologic function. Low levels have been associated with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, obesity, and insulin resistance. Supplementation is useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. High levels have been associated with mental health disorders including anxiety and schizophrenia.
Isoleucineis a branched chain amino acid that is important for muscle and neurologic function. Low levels have been associated with muscle weakness, tremors, and hypoglycemia. High levels have been associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Leucineis a branched chain amino acid that is important for muscle and neurologic function, wound healing, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Low levels have been associated with lethargy, chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, hypoglycemia, and malnutrition. High levels have been associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Lysineis important for connective tissue health and mineral and fatty acid metabolism, as well as the immune response. Low levels have been associated with neurologic and kidney dysfunction, hair loss, skin rash, and certain viral infections. Lysine supplementation is useful in treating recurrent herpes simplex infection.
Methionineis necessary for normal growth and development. High levels have been associated with increased red meat intake, an increased risk of CVD, dementia, depression, and high serum homocysteine levels. Methionine levels can be lowered by decreasing meat intake.
Phenylalanineis the precursor of tyrosine and other neurotransmitters that are important for neurologic function. Low levels may indicate a poor-quality diet and/or gastrointestinal disease. High levels have been associated with heart failure, inflammation, and sepsis.
Valineis a branched chain amino acid that is important for muscle and neurologic function. Low levels have been associated with muscle, neurologic, and liver disease, and malnutrition. High levels may be associated with obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes.
Non-Essential Amino Acids
Alanineserves as an energy source for muscle and plays an important role in the immune response. Low values may be associated with kidney disease, while high values may be associated with gout, diabetes, liver disease, and infection.
Glycineis essential for the formation of connective tissue and plays a key role in many metabolic pathways including as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Glycine supplementation has been used to treat diabetes, obesity, and inflammation.
Prolineis important for neurologic function. High levels may be associated with seizures.
Tyrosineis derived from phenylalanine and is a precursor for neurotransmitters. Low levels have been associated with cognitive decline and neurologic disease. Supplementation (>2.0 grams/day) has been used for the therapy of chronic pain, depression, cognitive decline, and sleep disorders.
Phenylalanine/Tyrosine Ratiois an excellent measure of phenylalanine metabolism. A high ratio indicates lack of efficient phenylalanine metabolism with decreased tyrosine and neurotransmitter production, and the potential need for tyrosine or tetrahydrobiopterin supplementation.
Metabolic Acids And Their Derivatives
Acetic Acidis important for carbohydrate and fat metabolism. High levels have been associated with a decreased immune response and increased susceptibility to infections. High levels may be associated with increased ingestion of foods that are canned, pickled, or highly processed.
Acetoneis the lowest molecular weight ketone. High levels are seen in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis and in subjects on ketogenic diets.
Pyruvic Acidis made from glucose and can be converted to fatty acids, as well as used to form the amino acid alanine. Low levels may be seen in subjects with malnutrition, while high levels may be seen in patients with diabetes mellitus.
2-Hydroxybutyrateis an organic acid derived from alpha-keto-butyrate. High levels have been associated with insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism due to increased lipid oxidation and oxidative stress.
3-Hydroxybutyrateis a degradation product of branched-chain amino acids. Like acetone, levels of 3-hydroxybutyrate in blood are markedly increased in diabetic ketoacidosis or in subjects on ketogenic diets. 3-hydroxybutyrate can be used as an energy source by the brain in addition to glucose and may have therapeutic value in the elderly with cognitive impairment or dementia.
General Health Parameters
Glycerolis necessary for triglyceride and phospholipid production in the body. High levels are associated with obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and fatty liver disease.
Cholineis an essential nutrient that must be consumed in the diet to maintain health. It is a major component of phospholipids in all cell membranes and is important for the breakdown of homocysteine. Dietary sources are the same as for essential amino acids. High levels have been associated with obesity and an increased risk of total mortality, arrhythmias, and colon cancer.
Glucoseis the most important source of energy in the body and can be produced from glycogen in the liver. Low fasting levels indicate hypoglycemia, borderline levels indicate prediabetes, and high levels indicate diabetes, associated with CVD, kidney failure, neuropathy, and blindness.


Lab Values
Treatment Options

Treatment Options


  • Serum levels of amino acids can be readily changed by dietary modification, supplements, and/or restriction.
  • Excellent dietary sources of essential amino acids include chicken, salmon, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, eggs, egg whites, broccoli, legumes, some fruits (apples, bananas, and mangos), as well as protein liquid or powder supplements.
  • If supplementation is required for individuals with low values, or on certain restricted diets, and/or recovering from long term illness, our recommendation is to consume a combination essential fatty acid supplement along with a high-quality protein diet rather than individual amino acid supplements.
  • Individuals with low levels of branched chain essential amino acids and other amino acids may also require supplementation with zinc, B vitamins, and folate because of deficiencies.
  • High levels of amino acids may be seen in overweight or obese subjects with insulin resistance and/or diabetes. They may require lower protein diets, weight loss via caloric restriction, regular exercise, and/or medications to treat their obesity and associated cardiovascular risk factors.
  • For more complete information about amino acids, other metabolites, and nutritional sources go to the Human Metabolome Database or The Human Metabolome Database for 2022. Nucleic Acids Res.
    Please also see Wolfe RR. A Guide to Amino Acid and Protein Nutrition, 2017; pp 1-300, available on-line.
Clinical Significance