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Composition and metabolism of fecal microbiota from normal and overweight children are differentially affected by melibiose, raffinose and raffinose-derived fructans

Adamberg, Kaarel, Adamberg, Signe, Ernits, Karin, Larionova, Anneli, Voor, Tiia, Jaagura, Madis, Visnapuu, Triinu, Alamäe, Tiina
Anaerobe 2018
Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bifidobacterium, Catenibacterium, Enterococcus, Lachnospiraceae, Phleum pratense, Streptococcus, adults, bacteria, butyric acid, calorimetry, children, colon, feces, fermentation, fermented foods, gases, heat production, inoculum, intestinal microorganisms, lactic acid, levan, levansucrase, melibiose, overweight, raffinose
The aim of the study was to investigate the metabolism of non-digestible oligo- and polysaccharides by fecal microbiota, using isothermal microcalorimetry. The five tested substrates were raffinose, melibiose, a mixture of oligo- and polysaccharides produced from raffinose by levansucrase, levan synthesized from raffinose, and levan from timothy grass. Two inocula were comprised of pooled fecal samples from overweight or normal-weight children, from healthy adult volunteers and a pure culture of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron as a reference bacterium for colon microbiota. The growth was analyzed based on the heat evolution curves, and the production of organic acids and gases. Taxonomic profiles of the microbiota were assessed by 16S rDNA sequencing.Raffinose and melibiose promoted the growth of bifidobacteria in all fecal pools. Several pool-specific substrate-related responses to raffinose and melibiose were revealed. Lactate-producing bacteria (Streptococcus and Enterococcus) became enriched in the pool of overweight children resulting in lactic acid as the major fermentation product on short saccharides. Acetic and butyric acids were prevalent at fermentation in the normal-weight pool coinciding with the enrichment of Catenibacterium. In the adult pool, the specific promotion of Bacteroides and Lachnospiraceae by levans was disclosed. In the fecal pool of normal-weight children, levans stimulated the growth of Senegalimassilia and Lachnoclostridium and this particular pool also showed the highest maximum heat production rate at levan fermentation. Levans and raffinose-derived oligosaccharides, but not raffinose and melibiose were completely fermented by a pure culture of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron.The main conclusion from the study is that fecal microbiota of normal and overweight children have different compositions and they respond in specific manners to non-digestible oligo- and polysaccharides: raffinose, melibiose, raffinose-derived oligosaccharides and levans. The potential of the tested saccharides to support a healthy balance of colon microbiota requires further studies.