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Open AccessArticle

Human Breast Milk Promotes the Secretion of Potentially Beneficial Metabolites by Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Department of Microbiology, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1548;
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Digestive Diseases)
PDF [1595 KB, uploaded 9 July 2019]


Human breast milk (HBM) may have beneficial effects on Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 (LR 17938) -mediated immunomodulation. We aimed to determine the effects of HBM on proliferation of LR 17938 in vitro and its associated proteins and metabolites in culture, in order to provide mechanistic insights into the health benefits of LR 17938. LR 17938 was cultured anaerobically in MRS bacterial culture media, HBM (from 6 mothers), and 2 types of cow-milk formula. The colony-forming unit (CFU) was calculated to evaluate LR 17938 growth. Sixteen-hour-fermented supernatants were used for metabolomics, and bacterial lysates were used for proteomics analysis. We found that growth of LR 17938 was 10 times better in HBM than in formula. We detected 261/452 metabolites upregulated when LR 17938 cultured in HBM compared to in formula, mainly participating in the glyoxylate cycle (succinate), urea cycle (citrulline), methionine methylation (N-acetylcysteine), and polyamine synthesis (spermidine). The significantly up-regulated enzymes were also involved in the formation of acetyl-CoA in the glyoxylate cycle and the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine. In conclusion, HBM enhances the growth of LR 17938 compared to formula and promotes LR 17938-associated metabolites that relate to energy and antioxidant status, which may be linked to the physiological effects of L. reuteri. View Full-Text
Keywords: probiotic; human breast milk; formula; inflammation; metabolite probiotic; human breast milk; formula; inflammation; metabolite

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Mai, T.T.; Tran, D.Q.; Roos, S.; Rhoads, J.M.; Liu, Y. Human Breast Milk Promotes the Secretion of Potentially Beneficial Metabolites by Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1548.

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