The broad resonances underlying the entire (1) H NMR spectrum of the brain, ascribed to macromolecules, can influence metabolite quantification. At the intermediate field strength of 3 T, distinct approaches for the determination of the macromolecule signal, previously used at either 1.5 or 7 T and higher, may become equivalent. The aim of this study was to evaluate, at 3 T for healthy subjects using LCModel, the impact on the metabolite quantification of two different macromolecule approaches: (i) experimentally measured macromolecules; and (ii) mathematically estimated macromolecules. Although small, but significant, differences in metabolite quantification (up to 23% for glutamate) were noted for some metabolites, 10 metabolites were quantified reproducibly with both approaches with a Cramer-Rao lower bound below 20%, and the neurochemical profiles were therefore similar. We conclude that the mathematical approximation can provide sufficiently accurate and reproducible estimation of the macromolecule contribution to the (1) H spectrum at 3 T. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.