British Journal of Nutrition

Metabolism and Metabolic Studies

Application of NMR-based metabonomics suggests a relationship between betaine absorption and elevated creatine plasma concentrations in catheterised sows

Christian Clement Ydea1a2 c1, Johan A. Westerhuisa3, Hanne Christine Bertrama2 and Knud Erik Bach Knudsena1

a1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, 8830 Tjele, Denmark

a2 Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, 5792 Aarslev, Denmark

a3 Biosystems Data Analysis, Faculty of Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1018 WV Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The objective of the present explorative study was to determine the absorption dynamics when feeding diets varying in types and levels of dietary fibre in a catheterised animal model. A total of six sows were fed a diet low in fibre (LF), a diet high in soluble fibre and a diet high in insoluble fibre in a repeated 3 × 3 cross-over design. Plasma samples were collected from the mesenteric artery and the portal vein to determine different absorption phases by 1H NMR spectroscopy-based metabonomics. Time profiles were determined for plasma levels of specific metabolites and for the absorption of these metabolites from the small intestine. The LF diet resulted in a higher betaine concentration in the blood than the two high-fibre diets (P = 0·008). This leads to higher plasma concentrations of methionine (P = 0·0028) and creatine (P = 0·020) of endogenous origin. In conclusion, the use of NMR spectroscopy for measuring nutrient uptake in the present study elucidated the relationship between betaine uptake and elevated creatine plasma concentrations.

(Received November 25 2010)

(Revised August 01 2011)

(Accepted August 03 2011)

(Online publication September 28 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr C. C. Yde, email


Abbreviations: ΔAV, arterial–venous difference; CMV, cross-model validation; DF, dietary fibre; HFI, high-fibre insoluble diet; HFS, high-soluble fibre; LF, low fibre; MLPLSDA, multilevel partial least-squares discriminant analysis; PPM, parts per million; RP, rank product