The intestinal environment in health and disease - recent insights on the potential of intestinal bacteria to influence human health.
ABSTRACT The human intestine is colonized by a complex microbial ecosystem, which could be considered as a separate organ within the human host, having a coding capacity which exceeds the liver by a factor 100. On the one hand, this extensive microbiome is closely involved in the first-pass metabolism and bioavailability of food and drug compounds. Understanding to which extent each individual's gut microbiota affects the bioavailability and response to orally administered drugs is therefore a first important challenge towards novel drug development strategies. On the other hand, as our microbiota is directly or indirectly involved in the onset of a number of disease states, a new generation of therapeutics may be developed that affect the structure and functioning of the intestinal microbiota and interfere with their specific cross-talk with the human host. Ultimately, the intestinal microbiota may even be used as a biomarker for impending diseases inside or outside the gastrointestinal tract and for the evaluation of responses to specific therapeutic interventions. This review will therefore highlight the importance of the indigenous microbial community and its enormous metabolic potential, microbe-microbe interactions, mechanisms of host-bacterium cross-talk and will discuss the onset of obesity, a specific disease state in which the role of intestinal bacteria becomes more and more apparent. Understanding the importance of the intestinal ecosystem in these phenomena may open the door for new strategies which target the management of the intestinal microbiome into the desired direction and therefore to a completely new type of nutrition research and pharmaceutical design.
- SourceAvailable from: Loïs Maignien[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The combination of a Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem with ad hoc molecular techniques (i.e. pyrosequencing, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and quantitative PCR) allowed an evaluation of the extent to which two plant polysaccharide supplements could modify a complex gut microbial community. The presence of Aloe vera gel powder and algae extract in product B as compared to the standard blend (product A) improved its fermentation along the entire simulated colon. The potential extended effect of product B in the simulated distal colon, as compared to product A, was confirmed by: (i) the separate clustering of the samples before and after the treatment in the phylogenetic-based dendrogram and OTU-based PCoA plot only for product B; (ii) a higher richness estimator (+33 vs. -36 % of product A); and (iii) a higher dynamic parameter (21 vs. 13 %). These data show that the combination of well designed in vitro simulators with barcoded pyrosequencing is a powerful tool for characterizing changes occurring in the gut microbiota following a treatment. However, for the quantification of low-abundance species-of interest because of their relationship to potential positive health effects (i.e. bifidobacteria or lactobacilli)-conventional molecular ecological approaches, such as PCR-DGGE and qPCR, still remain a very useful complementary tool.Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10/2012; 103(2). DOI:10.1007/s10482-012-9821-0 · 2.14 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Gut microbiota are important factors in obesity and diabetes, yet little is known about their role in the toxicodynamics of environmental chemicals, including those recently found to be obesogenic and diabetogenic. We integrated evidence that independently links gut ecology and environmental chemicals to obesity and diabetes, providing a framework for suggesting how these environmental factors may interact with these diseases, and identified future research needs. We examined studies with germ-free or antibiotic-treated laboratory animals, and human studies that evaluated how dietary influences and microbial changes affected obesity and diabetes. Strengths and weaknesses of studies evaluating how environmental chemical exposures may affect obesity and diabetes were summarized, and research gaps on how gut ecology may affect the disposition of environmental chemicals were identified. Mounting evidence indicates that gut microbiota composition affects obesity and diabetes, as does exposure to environmental chemicals. The toxicology and pharmacology literature also suggests that interindividual variations in gut microbiota may affect chemical metabolism via direct activation of chemicals, depletion of metabolites needed for biotransformation, alteration of host biotransformation enzyme activities, changes in enterohepatic circulation, altered bioavailability of environmental chemicals and/or antioxidants from food, and alterations in gut motility and barrier function. Variations in gut microbiota are likely to affect human toxicodynamics and increase individual exposure to obesogenic and diabetogenic chemicals. Combating the global obesity and diabetes epidemics requires a multifaceted approach that should include greater emphasis on understanding and controlling the impact of interindividual gut microbe variability on the disposition of environmental chemicals in humans.Environmental Health Perspectives 03/2012; 120(3):332-9. DOI:10.1289/ehp.1104204 · 7.03 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study aims to investigate the effect of different kinds of food products enriched with a combination of two potential probiotic strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus IMC 501(®) and Lactobacillus paracasei IMC 502(®), on bowel habits of healthy adults. Fifty healthy volunteers took part in a double-blind placebo probiotic feeding study (25 fed probiotics, 25 fed placebo) for 12 weeks. Each volunteer ingested daily one or more food products enriched with a combination of the two potential probiotic strains (probiotic group) or the same food products without the probiotics (control group). Faecal samples were collected before, at the end and 2 weeks later the intervention period, and some of the main groups of faecal bacteria were enumerated by plate count and real-time PCR. Questionnaires on bowel habits were submitted to volunteers. After the intervention, a significant increase in faecal lactobacilli and bifidobacteria were observed in the probiotic group, and stool frequency and stool volume were higher in the probiotic group than in the placebo group. Daily consumption of food products enriched with the two potential probiotic strains, Lact. rhamnosus IMC 501(®) and Lact. paracasei IMC 502(®) , contributes to improve intestinal microbiota with beneficial properties and enhances bowel habits of healthy adults. The study revealed that Lact. rhamnosus IMC 501(®) and Lact. paracasei IMC 502(®) exert a positive effect, in terms of improved bowel habits, on healthy adults.Letters in Applied Microbiology 03/2011; 52(6):596-602. DOI:10.1111/j.1472-765X.2011.03042.x · 1.75 Impact Factor