Bacterial Impact on the Gut Metabolome

Karolina Sulek, Andrea Wilcks, Tine Rask Licht, Jørn Smedsgaard, Thomas Hjort Skov, Henrik Lauritz Frandsen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


During the last decade, it has become evident that the complex ecosystem of mi-crobes inhabiting the human gut plays an important role for human health. An in-creasing number of publications have shown that the composition and activity of our intestinal microbiota affects a number of different so-called lifestyle diseases including allergy, obesity, and colorectal cancer, as well as our susceptibility to intestinal infections and inflammation. Additionally, it has become evident that the intestinal microbiota can be modulated by intake of pre- and probiotics. A large number of studies have addressed the effects of dietary interventions on the presence of specific bacterial metabolites, which are anticipated to play a role for gut health. However, such data evidently provide only small parts of the complex puzzle constituting the interactions between diet, microbiota, and mammalian host. This project’s objective is to elucidate the mechanism behind the beneficial effects of pre- and probiotics. This will lead to development of new pre- and probiotics targeting specific lifestyle related disorders. The innovative design of pre- and probiotics will lead to increased value for Danish companies. The major hypotheses to be addressed in the project are as follows:  Specific probiotic bacteria growing in an intestinal environment produce metabolites, which are qualitatively and quantitatively different from those produced by the same bacteria in vitro.  The production of metabolites by specific probiotic bacteria can be affected by prebiotic substances.  The presence of specific prebiotics and/or probiotic bacteria in the intestine induces production of specific metabolites from the host epithelium.  These effects will be altered by the presence of other specific bacteria in the gnotobiotic gut.  The effects will be different in different gut compartments (e.g. ileum versus colon and mucosa versus lumen).  Also metabolites in blood will be affected by probiotic colonization and/or prebiotic administration. To map metabolites, gnotobiotic animal models and in vitro fermentation tests in an anaerobic chamber are used, which allow studies of a simple well-defined intestinal microbiota – in this case Lactobacillus acidophillus NCFM. Usage of Mass Spectrometry makes it possible to measure metabolites in intestinal and other mammalian samples as well as in in vitro samples. Newly developed advanced (‘omics-‘) methodologies are used for analysis of biological interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event1st International Metabolomics Symposium in Germany: Metabolomics and More - The Impact of Metabolomics on the Life Scinces - Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
Duration: 11 Mar 201012 Mar 2010
Conference number: 1


Conference1st International Metabolomics Symposium in Germany
Internet address

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