Optimal Result: 0.31 - 0.74 qmol/dL.

Ethanolamine is an intermediary metabolite in the serine-to-choline sequence. It can be used to synthesize phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a very important membrane phospholipid. Ethanolamine is not only a precursor, but also a breakdown product of PE. Ethanolamine is abundant in both intestinal and bacterial cell membranes. It plays a significant role in the renewal and proliferation of intestinal cells and intestinal inflammation. Also, since ethanolamine plays a structural role in skeletal muscle cell membranes, some evidence suggests it may be a marker of skeletal muscle turnover.


- Gao X, Lee K, Reid MA, et al. Serine Availability Influences Mitochondrial Dynamics and Function through Lipid Metabolism. Cell Rep. 2018;22(13):3507-3520.

- Garsin DA. Ethanolamine: a signal to commence a hostassociated lifestyle? mBio. 2012;3(4):e00172-00112.

- Zhou J, Xiong X, Wang K, Zou L, Lv D, Yin Y. Ethanolamine Metabolism in the Mammalian Gastrointestinal Tract: Mechanisms, Patterns, and Importance. Curr Molec Med. 2017;17(2):92-99.

- Zhou J, Xiong X, Wang KX, Zou LJ, Ji P, Yin YL. Ethanolamine enhances intestinal functions by altering gut microbiome and mucosal anti-stress capacity in weaned rats. Br J Nutr. 2018;120(3):241-249.

- Zeng MY, Inohara N, Nuñez G. Mechanisms of inflammationdriven bacterial dysbiosis in the gut. Mucos Immunol. 2017;10(1):18-26.

- Elliott P, Posma JM, Chan Q, et al. Urinary metabolic signatures of human adiposity. Sci Transl Med. 2015;7(285):285ra262.

- Henneberry AL, McMaster CR. Cloning and expression of a human choline/ethanolaminephosphotransferase: synthesis of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. Biochem J. 1999;339 (Pt 2)(Pt 2):291-298.

- Horibata Y, Hirabayashi Y. Identification and characterization of human ethanolaminephosphotransferase1. J Lipid Res. 2007;48(3):503-508.

- Kaval KG, Singh KV, Cruz MR, et al. Loss of Ethanolamine Utilization in Enterococcus faecalis Increases Gastrointestinal Tract Colonization. mBio. 2018;9(3).

- Kaval KG, Garsin DA. Ethanolamine Utilization in Bacteria. mBio. 2018;9(1).

What does it mean if your Ethanolamine result is too low?

Decreased precursors, (such as serine), or issues with enzymatic conversion of these precursors may result in lower ethanolamine. This can be clinically problematic given the importance of its role in producing phosphoethanolamine and phospholipids.

What does it mean if your Ethanolamine result is too high?

The downstream metabolism of ethanolamine is magnesium and manganese dependent. Functional need for these cofactors can contribute to elevated ethanolamine. Because ethanolamine is found in intestinal epithelial cells and bacterial cell membranes, gut microbiome imbalances have been associated with ethanolamine elevations.

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