Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) attributed to a dysregulated immune response towards intestinal microbiota. Although various susceptibility genes have been identified for CD and UC, the exact disease etiology is unclear and complicated by the influence of environmental factors. Metabolomic analysis enables high sample throughput measurements of multiple metabolites in biological samples. The use of metabolomic analysis in medical sciences has revealed metabolite perturbations associated with diseases. This article provides a summary of the current understanding of IBD, and describes potential applications and previous metabolomic analysis in IBD research to understand IBD pathogenesis and improve IBD therapy. Copyright © 2010 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.
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