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Metabolites are the end product of our metabolism, this can explain why the most common metabolite test, drug tests, are actually testing for drug metabolites. Urine tests are also used to test for hormone metabolites such as estrogen metabolites in breast cancer patients or even measuring D metabolites from the Vitamin D in our body to detect Vitamin D deficiencies or bone disorders. Metabolites are very important players in the testing arena.

Metabolism is like the little red engine that could! All living matter including animals, plants, fungi, or bacteria have this chemical process called metabolism in some form or another and it is what gives us our energy. We are all made up of large molecules called proteins formed from hundreds of various amino acids. These proteins are all differently made up and perform different tasks in all parts of the body. They can exist for minutes or years. Many proteins are enzymes that set in motion biochemical reactions and are essential for the metabolism process.

Metabolism includes digestion and the transport of substances into and between different cells and has two different categories; Catabolism and Anabolism. Catabolism breaks down the organic matter and garners energy through cellular respiration (conversion of nutrients to energy and then waste). Anabolism uses energy to build parts of the cells such as proteins. The speed of metabolism, the metabolic rate, will determine how much nutrition we need and how our body is able to obtain it from what we consume. The metabolic process will determine which substances it will find nutritious and which poisonous or toxic.

Metabolites are those substances or small molecules that result from our metabolism. For example, when we metabolize something starchy in our body, glucose is one of the metabolites produced. Our metabolism includes our digestive process and the body’s chemical process so a metabolite is also any product that remains after a drug is broken down by the body. Our metabolism removes toxins from the body and is the incredible process in our bodies that takes products from our environment in to the body and breaks them down to be used by the body or expelled depending on whether they are nutrient or a toxin. Most substances need to be broken down to metabolites before they can be expelled from the body. Most of the time the metabolite once it is produced cannot be broken down any further.

Metabolites are in split in to two groups. Primary and secondary metabolites.

Primary metabolites, sometimes called central metabolites, are essential microorganisms for growth, reproduction and development of an organism and are formed during the growth phase. An example of a primary metabolite is alcohol which is used to ferment and grow beer and wine.

Secondary metabolites do not play a role in growth but are formed at the end of growth. An example of a secondary metabolite is an antibiotic such as “Bacitracin” which is made from the bacteria Bacillus subtilis and then used as a topical antibiotic ointment. Some examples of manmade or “industrialized” substances being metabolized and their corresponding primary to secondary metabolites are:

• Alcohol - Ethanol

• Amino acids - Glutamic acid, aspartic acid

• Antioxidants - Isoascorbic acid

• Organic acids - Acetic acid, lactic acid • Polyols - Glycerol

• Vitamins - B2

The Metabolite tests at Home:-

Basically whenever you perform any kind of home test, you are testing the metabolites of something. This is easiest to explain using a drug test as an example. When a drug is ingested in some way, the body breaks it down in to the metabolite of the drug which is then measured through a urine, stool, saliva or blood test. What is left over from the body breaking something down is a metabolite which is then tested for. 


Metabolism has been described as the engine that keeps your body running. It provides the energy your body needs to maintain itself. The fitter you are, the better your metabolism will be. If you’re out of shape however, your metabolism levels will be lower. It’s important to monitor metabolism to keep track of the basal rate.

Calculating your metabolite levels is a good idea especially before going on a diet or starting a new exercise program. There are a number of products on the market for metabolite testing along with interesting information should you have any queries or questions.


There’s so much info and literature about metabolites online that it can be quite confusing where to look. Check out the following platforms which will help you monitor your metabolite levels.

Home Tests – a home test kit for metabolites can be bought online and used in the comfort of your own home. Tests take the form of a urine, saliva, blood or stool sample. If you need more guidance and advice click on this website to learn more about metabolites and how important it is to know about your metabolic rate. here you will find more information.

Physician Tests – a metabolites test can also be carried out by your physician. It is recommended not to eat or drink anything for eight hours before the test when a blood sample is taken from a vein Results will show how your liver and kidneys are working while indicating what your cholesterol, calcium and blood sugar levels are. you will find further information here

Resources and Links

Metabolic Institute of America www.themetaboliccenter.com

A History of Carbohydrate Metabolism: American Chemical Society www.acs.org

Genetic Factors in Drug Metabolism: American Family Physician www.aafp.org

United States Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov