When our body breaks down food or any other substances we consume or even its own tissue like fat or muscle – the act known as metabolism – it produces metabolites. The comprehensive analysis of the metabolites encountered among an entire biological species is known as metabolic profiling, a.k.a. metabolomics or metabonomics. 
You may not believe in fate, but you have no choice but to believe in genes, the random, unjust lottery that deals with the physiological cards. How to play those cards rights, does it even matter how you’ll play them, to what extent can one change their biological fate – these are the questions almost every human being is concerned with. Metabolic profiling is the science that brings us closer to the answers.
“Metabolomics defines an individual’s metabolic phenotype, which is influenced by genotype, diet, lifestyle, health and xenobiotic exposure, and could also reveal intermediate biomarkers for disease risk that reflect adaptive response to exposure.” 
In other words, metabolic profiling reveals the big picture, in which our biological system interacts with the environment it finds itself within and the stimuli it faces in the form of our lifestyle choices, diet, exercise, etc.
Metabolic profiling is somewhat reminiscent of a bird’s-eye view in the sense that it’s a quantitative analysis that can encompass various parameters, like genotype, ecotype, phenotype, gender, age, diet, and environment, but at the same time, it’s like a magnifying glass, in the sense that it’s selective and works better on single individuals rather than large-scale human studies, in which there is much less control over those variables. 
In order for metabolic profiling to be scaled up in a meaningful way, the parameters from which data would be acquired have to be as insightful and telling as possible and, most of all, uniform. Only then can variables be minimized and comparisons and conclusions be drawn.
“One barrier to the use of metabolic profiling data to draw biological conclusions is that often there is a lack of thorough metadata reporting, meaning data about data, such as details from the experimental design, acquisition, and processing parameters.”
If including metadata in the scientific publications of metabolic profiling experiments becomes a widespread practice, their findings can then influence and enrich our understanding of fields like genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics.
- Clary B. Clish, Metabolomics: an emerging but powerful tool for precision medicine, Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2015 Oct; 1(1): a000588; Impact Factor = 2.32; Times Cited = 368
- Ellis et al, Metabolic profiling detects early effects of environmental and lifestyle exposure to cadmium in a human population, BMC Medicine volume 10, Article number: 61 (2012); Impact Factor = 8.775; Times Cited = 127
- Kaiser et al, Chapter 5 – Metabolic Profiling, NMR Spectroscopy in Pharmaceutical Analysis 2008, Pages 233-267