ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Molecular Mechanisms of Bioactive Nutrients Promoting Health through Gut Microbiota"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Baojun Xu
Website
Guest Editor
Food Science and Technology Program, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, Zhuhai, China
Interests: antioxidants; phytochemicals; gut metabolites; gut microbiota; gut health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is becoming clear that human gut microbiota plays a critical role in human health. Depending on dietary intake and, consequently, nutrient availability within the gut, the human gut microbiota can produce either harmful metabolites that lead to human diseases or beneficial compounds that protect against host diseases. Abnormal gut microbiota can produce endotoxins which enhance chronic inflammation and metabolic disorders. Hence, a promising strategy to help manage colon health and host health is the modification of gut microbiota by bioactive food components to balance its composition. Bioactive components obtained from dietary sources can be designed and characterized to meet human nutritional and immunological needs as well as balance the gut microbiota. The goal of this Special Issue is to collect the latest research findings on the interrelationship among bioactive food components (such as phytochemicals and complex carbohydrates), gut microbiota, colon stem cells, and chronic metabolic diseases. The health benefits of small molecular phytochemicals and large biopolymer polysaccharides have been reported in different disciplines; however, it is not clear how gut microbiota metabolize these dietary phytochemicals and polymers, and how the resulting gut metabolites may further affect the gut microbial population, gut microbial metabolism, and colon stem cells.

Prof. Dr. Baojun Xu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Phytochemicals
  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Bioactive nutrients
  • Gut microbiota
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics
  • Inflammation
  • Molecular mechanisms
  • Human health

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Unique Gut Microbiome Signatures Depict Diet-Versus Genetically Induced Obesity in Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3434; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103434 - 13 May 2020
Abstract
The gut microbiome plays an important role in obesity and Type 2 diabetes (T2D); however, it remains unclear whether the gut microbiome could clarify the dietary versus genetic origin of these ailments. Moreover, studies examining the gut microbiome in diet- versus genetically induced [...] Read more.
The gut microbiome plays an important role in obesity and Type 2 diabetes (T2D); however, it remains unclear whether the gut microbiome could clarify the dietary versus genetic origin of these ailments. Moreover, studies examining the gut microbiome in diet- versus genetically induced obesity/T2D in the same experimental set-up are lacking. We herein characterized the gut microbiomes in three of the most widely used mouse models of obesity/T2D, i.e., genetically induced (leptin-deficient i.e., Lepob/ob; and leptin-receptor-deficient i.e., Lepdb/db) and high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese (DIO)/T2D mice, with reference to their normal chow-fed (NC) and low-fat-diet-fed (LF) control counterparts. In terms of β-diversity, Lepob/ob and Lepdb/db mice showed similarity to NC mice, whereas DIO and LF mice appeared as distinct clusters. The phylum- and genus-level compositions were relatively similar in NC, Lepob/ob, and Lepdb/db mice, whereas DIO and LF mice demonstrated distinct compositions. Further analyses revealed several unique bacterial taxa, metagenomic functional features, and their correlation patterns in these models. The data revealed that obesity/T2D driven by diet as opposed to genetics presents distinct gut microbiome signatures enriched with distinct functional capacities, and indicated that these signatures can distinguish diet- versus genetically induced obesity/T2D and, if extrapolated to humans, might offer translational potential in devising dietary and/or genetics-based therapies against these maladies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Food Intake Specificity in Children with Autism on Gut Microbiota
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2797; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082797 - 17 Apr 2020
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex of neurodevelopmental conditions with increasing incidence. The microbiota of children with ASD is distinct from neurotypical children, their food habits are also different, and it is known that nutrient intake influences microbiota in a specific way. [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex of neurodevelopmental conditions with increasing incidence. The microbiota of children with ASD is distinct from neurotypical children, their food habits are also different, and it is known that nutrient intake influences microbiota in a specific way. Thus, this study investigates the food habits of children with ASD and their association with the gut microbiota. Children with ASD had their dietary energy intakes similar to controls, but they more often demonstrated food selectivity, which seemed to result in deficiency of micronutrients such as vitamins K, B6, C, iron, cooper, docosahexaenoic and docosapentanoic acid. Using high-throughput sequencing, a DNA library of intestinal microbiota was performed. Core microbiota was similar in children with and without ASD, but Dichelobacter, Nitriliruptor and Constrictibacter were found to be putative markers of ASD. The changes in gut microbiota that we observed in connection to food selectivity, intake of fats and omega-3 in particular, fermented milk products and animal/plant protein consumption had similar character, independent of diagnosis. However, high fibre intake was connected with a decreased α-diversity only in children with ASD. High carbohydrate and fibre intake influenced β-diversity, changing the abundance of Bacteroides and other genera, many of them members of the Clostidiaceae. Modulating food habits of ASD children can influence their gut microbiota composition. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Evaluation of Different Prebiotics on the Modulation of Gut Microbiota Composition and Function in Morbid Obese and Normal-Weight Subjects
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030906 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The gut microbiota remains relatively stable during adulthood; however, certain intrinsic and environmental factors can lead to microbiota dysbiosis. Its restoration towards a healthy condition using best-suited prebiotics requires previous development of in vitro models for evaluating their functionality. Herein, we carried out [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota remains relatively stable during adulthood; however, certain intrinsic and environmental factors can lead to microbiota dysbiosis. Its restoration towards a healthy condition using best-suited prebiotics requires previous development of in vitro models for evaluating their functionality. Herein, we carried out fecal cultures with microbiota from healthy normal-weight and morbid obese adults. Cultures were supplemented with different inulin-type fructans (1-kestose, Actilight, P95, Synergy1 and Inulin) and a galactooligosaccharide. Their impact on the gut microbiota was assessed by monitoring gas production and evaluating changes in the microbiota composition (qPCR and 16S rRNA gene profiling) and metabolic activity (gas chromatography). Additionally, the effect on the bifidobacterial species was assessed (ITS-sequencing). Moreover, the functionality of the microbiota before and after prebiotic-modulation was determined in an in vitro model of interaction with an intestinal cell line. In general, 1-kestose was the compound showing the largest effects. The modulation with prebiotics led to significant increases in the Bacteroides group and Faecalibacterium in obese subjects, whereas in normal-weight individuals, substantial rises in Bifidobacterium and Faecalibacterium were appreciated. Notably, the results obtained showed differences in the responses among the tested compounds but also among the studied human populations, indicating the need for developing population-specific products. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Pistachio Consumption Alleviates Inflammation and Improves Gut Microbiota Composition in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010365 - 06 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
High-fat diet (HFD) induces inflammation and microbial dysbiosis, which are components of the metabolic syndrome. Nutritional strategies can be a valid tool to prevent metabolic and inflammatory diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate if the chronic intake of pistachio [...] Read more.
High-fat diet (HFD) induces inflammation and microbial dysbiosis, which are components of the metabolic syndrome. Nutritional strategies can be a valid tool to prevent metabolic and inflammatory diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate if the chronic intake of pistachio prevents obesity-associated inflammation and dysbiosis in HFD-fed mice. Three groups of male mice (four weeks old; n = 8 per group) were fed for 16 weeks with a standard diet (STD), HFD, or HFD supplemented with pistachios (HFD-P; 180 g/kg of HFD). Serum, hepatic and adipose tissue inflammation markers were analyzed in HFD-P animals and compared to HFD and STD groups. Measures of inflammation, obesity, and intestinal integrity were assessed. Fecal samples were collected for gut microbiota analysis. Serum TNF-α and IL-1β levels were significantly reduced in HFD-P compared to HFD. Number and area of adipocytes, crown-like structure density, IL-1β, TNF-α, F4-80, and CCL-2 mRNA expression levels were significantly reduced in HFD-P subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues, compared to HFD. A significant reduction in the number of inflammatory foci and IL-1β and CCL-2 gene expression was observed in the liver of HFD-P mice compared with HFD. Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio was reduced in HFD-P mice in comparison to the HFD group. A pistachio diet significantly increased abundance of healthy bacteria genera such as Parabacteroides, Dorea, Allobaculum, Turicibacter, Lactobacillus, and Anaeroplasma, and greatly reduced bacteria associated with inflammation, such as Oscillospira, Desulfovibrio, Coprobacillus, and Bilophila. The intestinal conductance was lower in HFD-P mice than in the HFD mice, suggesting an improvement in the gut barrier function. The results of the present study showed that regular pistachio consumption improved inflammation in obese mice. The positive effects could be related to positive modulation of the microbiota composition. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Chitosan Ameliorates DSS-Induced Ulcerative Colitis Mice by Enhancing Intestinal Barrier Function and Improving Microflora
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5751; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225751 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Ulcerative colitis (UC) has been identified as one of the inflammatory diseases. Intestinal mucosal barrier function and microflora play major roles in UC. Modified-chitosan products have been consumed as effective and safe drugs to treat UC. The present work aimed to investigate the [...] Read more.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) has been identified as one of the inflammatory diseases. Intestinal mucosal barrier function and microflora play major roles in UC. Modified-chitosan products have been consumed as effective and safe drugs to treat UC. The present work aimed to investigate the effect of chitosan (CS) on intestinal microflora and intestinal barrier function in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced UC mice and to explore the underlying mechanisms. KM (Kunming) mice received water/CS (250, 150 mg/kg) for 5 days, and then received 3% DSS for 5 days to induce UC. Subsequently, CS (250, 150 mg/kg) was administered daily for 5 days. Clinical signs, body weight, colon length, and histological changes were recorded. Alterations of intestinal microflora were analyzed by PCR-DGGE, expressions of TNF-α and tight junction proteins were detected by Western blotting. CS showed a significant effect against UC by the increased body weight and colon length, decreased DAI (disease activity index) and histological injury scores, and alleviated histopathological changes. CS reduced the expression of TNF-α, promoted the expressions of tight junction proteins such as claudin-1, occludin, and ZO-1 to maintain the intestinal mucosal barrier function for attenuating UC in mice. Furthermore, Parabacteroides, Blautia, Lactobacillus, and Prevotella were dominant organisms in the intestinal tract. Blautia and Lactobacillus decreased with DSS treatment, but increased obviously with CS treatment. This is the first time that the effect of original CS against UC in mice has been reported and it is through promoting dominant intestinal microflora such as Blautia, mitigating intestinal microflora dysbiosis, and regulating the expressions of TNF-α, claudin-1, occludin, and ZO-1. CS can be developed as an effective food and health care product for the prevention and treatment of UC. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
The Constipation-Relieving Property of d-Tagatose by Modulating the Composition of Gut Microbiota
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5721; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225721 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
d-tagatose, a monosaccharide as well as a dietary supplement, has been reported as having a wide range of applicability in the food industry, however, the prebiotic activity, anticonstipation effects, and related mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, using the loperamide-induced constipation [...] Read more.
d-tagatose, a monosaccharide as well as a dietary supplement, has been reported as having a wide range of applicability in the food industry, however, the prebiotic activity, anticonstipation effects, and related mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, using the loperamide-induced constipation Kunming mice as the animal model, the effects of d-tagatose for the prevention of constipation were evaluated by gastrointestinal transit experiment and defecation experiment. Furthermore, the underlying mechanism was clarified by evaluating the change of the biochemical indicators and analyzing 16S rRNA amplicon of gut microbiota among the different mice groups. The results showed that the gastrointestinal transit rate, fecal number, and weight in six hours were significantly enhanced after the administration of d-tagatose. In addition, d-tagatose significantly increased the serum levels of acetylcholine (Ach) and substance P (SP), whereas the serum levels of nitric oxide (NO) were significantly decreased. Moreover, the 16S rRNA sequencing analysis revealed that the changes in the gut microbiota caused by constipation were restored by d-tagatose treatment. In conclusion, this study indicated that the administration of d-tagatose as a dietary supplement can effectively prevent and relieve constipation in Kunming mice, and it is a promising prebiotic candidate with constipation-relieving properties. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Diet-Derived Phytochemicals Targeting Colon Cancer Stem Cells and Microbiota in Colorectal Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3976; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113976 - 01 Jun 2020
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a fatal disease caused by the uncontrolled propagation and endurance of atypical colon cells. A person’s lifestyle and eating pattern have significant impacts on the CRC in a positive and/or negative way. Diet-derived phytochemicals modulate the microbiome as well [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a fatal disease caused by the uncontrolled propagation and endurance of atypical colon cells. A person’s lifestyle and eating pattern have significant impacts on the CRC in a positive and/or negative way. Diet-derived phytochemicals modulate the microbiome as well as targeting colon cancer stem cells (CSCs) that are found to offer significant protective effects against CRC, which were organized in an appropriate spot on the paper. All information on dietary phytochemicals, gut microbiome, CSCs, and their influence on CRC were accessed from the various databases and electronic search engines. The effectiveness of CRC can be reduced using various dietary phytochemicals or modulating microbiome that reduces or inverses the progression of a tumor as well as CSCs, which could be a promising and efficient way to reduce the burden of CRC. Phytochemicals with modulation of gut microbiome continue to be auspicious investigations in CRC through noticeable anti-tumorigenic effects and goals to CSCs, which provides new openings for cancer inhibition and treatment. Full article
Open AccessReview
Gut Microbiota Metabolism and Interaction with Food Components
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3688; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103688 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
The human gut contains trillions of microbes that play a central role in host biology, including the provision of key nutrients from the diet. Food is a major source of precursors for metabolite production; in fact, diet modulates the gut microbiota (GM) as [...] Read more.
The human gut contains trillions of microbes that play a central role in host biology, including the provision of key nutrients from the diet. Food is a major source of precursors for metabolite production; in fact, diet modulates the gut microbiota (GM) as the nutrients, derived from dietary intake, reach the GM, affecting both the ecosystem and microbial metabolic profile. GM metabolic ability has an impact on human nutritional status from childhood. However, there is a wide variability of dietary patterns that exist among individuals. The study of interactions with the host via GM metabolic pathways is an interesting field of research in medicine, as microbiota members produce myriads of molecules with many bioactive properties. Indeed, much evidence has demonstrated the importance of metabolites produced by the bacterial metabolism from foods at the gut level that dynamically participate in various biochemical mechanisms of a cell as a reaction to environmental stimuli. Hence, the GM modulate homeostasis at the gut level, and the alteration in their composition can concur in disease onset or progression, including immunological, inflammatory, and metabolic disorders, as well as cancer. Understanding the gut microbe–nutrient interactions will increase our knowledge of how diet affects host health and disease, thus enabling personalized therapeutics and nutrition. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop