D2O is used as a tracer for metabolic studies and diagnosis of metabolic related diseases. Deuterium as a component of heavy water or other Isotopically labelled compounds can safely be administered to patients as a drink or through injection. As the water or compound is processed by the body, the presence of deuterium tells the physician how the patient is metabolizing the deuterium. The physician can then use the results to determine if disease is present and the need for future evaluations or treatment. In another application, deuterium is used as a marker for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) measurement of drug metabolism. Hospital diagnostics labs and university laboratories all use deuterated compounds in their medical research, including cancer research.

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