The availability of 'omics' technologies is transforming scientific approaches to physiological problems from a reductionist viewpoint to that of a holistic viewpoint. This is of profound importance in nutrition, since the integration of multiple systems at the level of gene expression on the synthetic side through to metabolic enzyme activity on the degradative side combine to govern nutrient availability to tissues. Protein activity is central to the process of nutrition from the initial absorption of nutrients via uptake carriers in the gut, through to distribution and transport in the blood, metabolism by degradative enzymes in tissues and excretion through renal tubule exchange proteins. Therefore, the global profiling of the proteome, defined as the entire protein complement of the genome expressed in a particular cell or organ, or in plasma or serum at a particular time, offers the potential for identification of important biomarkers of nutritional state that respond to alterations in diet. The present review considers the published evidence of nutritional modulation of the proteome in vivo which has expanded exponentially over the last 3 years. It highlights some of the challenges faced by researchers using proteomic approaches to understand the interactions of diet with genomic and metabolic-phenotypic variables in normal populations.