Baseline microbiota activity and initial bifidobacteria counts influence responses to prebiotic dosing in healthy subjects
Article first published online: 10 DEC 2007
© 2008 The Authors
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 27, Issue 6, pages 504–513, March 2008
How to Cite
DE PRETER, V., VANHOUTTE, T., HUYS, G., SWINGS, J., RUTGEERTS, P. and VERBEKE, K. (2008), Baseline microbiota activity and initial bifidobacteria counts influence responses to prebiotic dosing in healthy subjects. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 27: 504–513. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2007.03588.x
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2007
- Article first published online: 10 DEC 2007
- Publication data Submitted 23 July 2007 First decision 14 August 2007 Resubmitted 19 November 2007 Second decision 2 December 2007 Resubmitted 4 December 2007 Accepted 4 December 2007 Epub OnlineAccepted 10 December 2007
Background Dietary intervention with prebiotics can cause changes in the colonic microbiota and their metabolic activities.
Aim To investigate whether the response to prebiotic dosing is influenced by the baseline metabolic activity of the colonic flora and bifidobacteria counts.
Methods The 4-week effect of lactulose (10 g bid.; n = 29) and oligofructose-enriched inulin (10 g bid.; n = 19) was evaluated in healthy human volunteers. Lactose-[15N, 15N]-ureide was used to study the colonic NH3-metabolism. Urine (48 h) and faeces (72 h) were collected and analysed for p-cresol and 15N-content by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and isotope ratio mass spectrometer, respectively. Faecal bifidobacteria were quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Results After the 4-week prebiotic administration period, the urinary excretion of p-cresol and 15N was significantly decreased in both groups (P < 0.05) corresponding to a significantly higher faecal excretion of 15N (P < 0.05). The decrease in urinary 15N and p-cresol excretion significantly correlated with baseline 15N and p-cresol levels (P < 0.05), indicating that subjects with higher baseline levels showed a higher response to prebiotic dosing. Furthermore, a significant correlation was seen between baseline bifidobacteria counts and the effect of prebiotic intake (P < 0.05).
Conclusion The response to prebiotic dosing, as indicated by the fate of NH3, p-cresol and bifidobacteria, is determined by the initial colonic conditions.