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Gastrointestinal Simulation Model TWIN-SHIME Shows Differences between Human Urolithin-Metabotypes in Gut Microbiota Composition, Pomegranate Polyphenol Metabolism, and Transport along the Intestinal Tract

Garcia-Villalba, Rocio, Vissenaekens, Hanne, Pitart, Judit, Romo-Vaquero, Maria, Espin, Juan C., Grootaert, Charlotte, Selma, Maria V., Raes, Katleen, Smagghe, Guy, Possemiers, Sam, Camp, John van, Tomas-Barberan, Francisco A.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.27 pp. 5480-5493
absorption, colon, human cell lines, humans, intestinal microorganisms, metabolism, metabolites, polyphenols, pomegranates, propionic acid, short chain fatty acids, simulation models
A TWIN-SHIME system was used to compare the metabolism of pomegranate polyphenols by the gut microbiota from two individuals with different urolithin metabotypes. Gut microbiota, ellagitannin metabolism, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), transport of metabolites, and phase II metabolism using Caco-2 cells were explored. The simulation reproduced the in vivo metabolic profiles for each metabotype. The study shows for the first time that microbial composition, metabolism of ellagitannins, and SCFA differ between metabotypes and along the large intestine. The assay also showed that pomegranate phenolics preserved intestinal cell integrity. Pomegranate polyphenols enhanced urolithin and propionate production, as well as Akkermansia and Gordonibacter prevalence with the highest effect in the descending colon. The system provides an insight into the mechanisms of pomegranate polyphenol gut microbiota metabolism and absorption through intestinal cells. The results obtained by the combined SHIME/Caco-2 cell system are consistent with previous human and animal studies and show that although urolithin metabolites are present along the gastrointestinal tract due to enterohepatic circulation, they are predominantly produced in the distal colon region.