The study of the molecules (metabolites) involved in the chemical reactions that maintain a cell (its metabolism).
Use in clinical context
The molecules involved in a cell’s metabolism are called metabolites. Examples of metabolites include fatty acids, vitamins, glucose and cholesterol.
Studying which metabolites are present, and in what concentrations, can yield important information about how a cell or tissue is functioning, as these metabolites directly reflect the biochemical state of the cell or tissue.
A cell’s metabolism is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.