The dual-sugar intestinal permeability test is a commonly used test to assess changes in gut barrier function. However, it does not identify functional changes and the exact mechanism of damage caused by the increased intestinal permeability. This study aims to explore the application of untargeted metabolomics and lipidomics to identify markers of increased intestinal permeability. Fifty fasting male participants (18–50 years) attended a single visit to conduct the following procedures: assessment of anthropometric measures, assessment of gastrointestinal symp-toms, intestinal permeability test, and assessment of blood samples 90 min post-administration of the intestinal permeability test. Rhamnose and lactulose were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Untargeted polar metabolites and lipidomics were assessed by liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-QToF MS). There was an elevated lactulose/rhamnose ratio in 27 subjects, indicating increased permeability compared to the remaining 23 control subjects. There were no significant differences between groups in characteristics such as age, body mass index (BMI), weight, height, and waist conference. Fourteen metabolites from the targeted metabolomics data were identified as statistically significant in the plasma samples from intestinal permeability subjects. The untargeted metabolomics and lipidomics analyses yielded fifteen and fifty-one statistically significant features, respectively. Individuals with slightly elevated intestinal permeability had altered energy, nucleotide, and amino acid metabolism, in addition to increased glutamine levels. Whether these biomarkers may be used to predict the early onset of leaky gut warrants further investigation.
- intestinal permeability
- lactulose-to-rhamnose ratio