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Stable isotopes are powerful tools for tracing the metabolic fate of molecules in the human body. In this chapter, we focus on the use of deuterium (2H), a stable isotope of hydrogen, in the study of human lipid metabolism within the liver in vivo in humans and in vitro using hepatocyte cellular models. The measurement of de novo lipogenesis (DNL) will be focussed on, as the synthesis of fatty acids, specifically palmitate, has been gathering momentum as being implicated in cellular dysfunction, which may be involved in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Therefore, this chapter focusses specifically on the use of 2H2O (heavy water) to measure hepatic DNL.

Original publication





Publication Date





83 - 96


De novo lipogenesis, Deuterium, Human lipid metabolism, Stable isotopes