Human Gut Simulator: Diet and the Microbiome

The Physicians Committee

Human Gut Simulator: Diet and the Microbiome

September 28, 2018

human microbiome

Study in a Sentence:

Researchers used an artificial intestine to explore how gut microbiota change in response to a switch from a macronutrient medium resembling a Western diet to a medium composed exclusively of dietary fatty acids. Researchers used high-throughput sequencing and high-performance liquid chromatography to measure the composition and metabolites of the gut microbes in the two environments. 

Healthy for Humans:

The human gut simulator used in this research was seeded with human gut microbes to mimic the environment of the human colon. This research method can be used to help scientists study personalized diets, which could lead to advances in precision medicine. 

Redefining Research:

When gut microbes were supplied with an exclusively all-fat medium, a decline in carbohydrate-metabolizing bacteria and, subsequently, a decrease in the production of short-chain fatty acids and antioxidants was observed. This in vitro multi-vessel simulator system allows for quicker, more accurate nutrition research and can perhaps provide insight into popular fad diets. 

Agans R, Gordon A, Kramer DL, Perez-Burillo S, Rufián-Henares JA, Paliy O. Dietary fatty acids sustain growth of human gut microbiota. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2018. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01525-18

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