Colonic transit time relates to bacterial metabolism and mucosal turnover in the human gut

Henrik Munch Roager, Lea Benedicte Skov Hansen, Martin Iain Bahl, Henrik Lauritz Frandsen, Vera Carvalho, Rikke J. Gøbel, Marlene Danner Dalgaard, Morten Sparholt, Henrik Vestergaard, Torben Hansen, Thomas Sicheritz-Ponten, Henrik Bjørn Nielsen, Oluf Pedersen, Lotte Lauritzen, Mette Kristensen, Ramneek Gupta, Tine Rask Licht

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Little is known about how colonic transit time relates to human colonic metabolism, and its importance for host health, although stool consistency, a proxy for colonic transit time, has recently been negatively associated with gut microbial richness. To address the relationships between colonic transit time and the gut microbial composition and metabolism, we assessed the colonic transit time of 98 subjects using radiopaque markers, and profiled their gut microbiota by16S rRNA gene sequencingand their urine metabolome by ultra performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Based on correlation analyses,we show that colonic transit time is associated with overall gutmicrobial composition, diversity and metabolism. A relatively prolonged colonic transit time associates with high microbial species richness and a shift in colonic metabolismfrom carbohydrate fermentation to protein catabolism as reflected by microbial metabolites in urine. This results in a number of potentially deleterious protein-derived metabolites. Additionally, longer colonic transit time correlates with metabolites likely reflecting reduced renewal of the colonic mucosa. Together, this suggests that a
high gut microbial richness does not per seimply a healthy gut microbiota, and contributes to the understanding of the pathophysiologyof diseases where increased transit time is a risk factor.Finally, our findings highlight the colonic transit time as an important physiological variable, which should be considered in gut microbiota and metabolomics studies
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event10th INRA-Rowett Symposium: Gut Microbiology - Polydome, Place du 1er Mai, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Duration: 20 Jun 201623 Jun 2016
Conference number: 10


Conference10th INRA-Rowett Symposium: Gut Microbiology
LocationPolydome, Place du 1er Mai
Internet address


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