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Microorganisms 2018, 6(2), 53;

Mucus: An Underestimated Gut Target for Environmental Pollutants and Food Additives

Toxalim (Research Centre in Food Toxicology), Université de Toulouse, INRA, ENVT, INP-Purpan, UPS, Toulouse, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Bacteria-Mucus Interaction)
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Synthetic chemicals (environmental pollutants, food additives) are widely used for many industrial purposes and consumer-related applications, which implies, through manufactured products, diet, and environment, a repeated exposure of the general population with growing concern regarding health disorders. The gastrointestinal tract is the first physical and biological barrier against these compounds, and thus their first target. Mounting evidence indicates that the gut microbiota represents a major player in the toxicity of environmental pollutants and food additives; however, little is known on the toxicological relevance of the mucus/pollutant interplay, even though mucus is increasingly recognized as essential in gut homeostasis. Here, we aimed at describing how environmental pollutants (heavy metals, pesticides, and other persistent organic pollutants) and food additives (emulsifiers, nanomaterials) might interact with mucus and mucus-related microbial species; that is, “mucophilic” bacteria such as mucus degraders. This review highlights that intestinal mucus, either directly or through its crosstalk with the gut microbiota, is a key, yet underestimated gut player that must be considered for better risk assessment and management of environmental pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental pollutants; food additives; gut barrier; mucus; mucophilic bacteria environmental pollutants; food additives; gut barrier; mucus; mucophilic bacteria

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Gillois, K.; Lévêque, M.; Théodorou, V.; Robert, H.; Mercier-Bonin, M. Mucus: An Underestimated Gut Target for Environmental Pollutants and Food Additives. Microorganisms 2018, 6, 53.

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