Changes in urine headspace composition as an effect of strenuous walking

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The present investigation uses proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) combined with multivariate and univariate statistical analyses to study potential biomarkers for altered metabolism in urine due to strenuous walking. Urine samples, in concurrence with breath and blood samples, were taken from 51 participants (23 controls, 11 type-1 diabetes, 17 type-2 diabetes) during the Dutch endurance walking event, the International Four Days Marches. Multivariate analysis allowed for discrimination of before and after exercise for all three groups (control, type-1 and type-2 diabetes) and on three out of 4 days. The analysis highlighted 12 molecular ions contributing to this discrimination. Of these, acetic acid in urine is identified as a significant marker for exercise effects induced by walking; an increase is observed as an effect of walking. Analysis of acetone concentration with univariate tools resulted in different information when compared to breath as a function of exercise, revealing an interesting effect of time over the 4 days. In breath, acetone provides an immediate snapshot of metabolism, whereas urinary acetone will result from longer term diffusion processes, providing a time averaged view of metabolism. The potential to use PTR-MS measurements of urine to monitor exercise effects is exhibited, and may be utilized to monitor subjects in mass participation exercise events.

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Samudrala, D., Geurts, B., Brown, P. A., Szymańska, E., Mandon, J., Jansen, J., … Cristescu, S. M. (2015). Changes in urine headspace composition as an effect of strenuous walking. Metabolomics, 11(6), 1656–1666.

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