Williams CF, Walton GE, Jiang L, Plummer S, Garaiova I, Gibson GR. Comparative analysis of intestinal tract models. Annual Review of Food Science and Technology 2015; 6:329-50
The human gut is a complex ecosystem occupied by a diverse microbial community. Modulation of this microbiota impacts health and disease. The definitive way to investigate the impact of dietary intervention on the gut microbiota is a human trial. However, human trials are expensive and can be difficult to control; thus, initial screening is desirable. Utilization of a range of in vitro and in vivo models means that useful information can be gathered prior to the necessity for human intervention. This review discusses the benefits and limitations of these approaches.
Corfe BM, Harden CJ, Bull M, Garaiova I. The multifactorial interplay of diet, the microbiome and appetite control: current knowledge and future challenges. Proceeding of the Nutrition Society 2015; 74(3): 235-44
The recent availability of high-throughput nucleic acid sequencing technologies has rapidly advanced approaches to analysing the role of the gut microbiome in governance of human health, including gut health, and also metabolic, cardiovascular and mental health, inter alia. Recent scientific studies suggest that energy intake (EI) perturbations at the population level cannot account for the current obesity epidemic, and significant work is investigating the potential role of the microbiome, and in particular its metabolic products, notably SCFA, predominantly acetate, propionate and butyrate, the last of which is an energy source for the epithelium of the large intestine. The energy yield from dietary residues may be a significant factor influencing energy balance. This review posits that the contribution towards EI is governed by EI diet composition (not just fibre), the composition of the microbiome and by the levels of physical activity. Furthermore, we hypothesise that these factors do not exist in a steady state, but rather are dynamic, with both short- and medium-term effects on appetite regulation. We suggest that the existing modelling strategies for bacterial dynamics, specifically for growth in chemostat culture, are of utility in understanding the dynamic interplay of diet, activity and microbiomic organisation. Such approaches may be informative in optimising the application of dietary and microbial therapy to promote health.
Bull MJ, Plummer NT. Part 2: Treatments for Chronic Gastrointestinal Disease and Gut Dysbiosis. Integrative Medicine 2015; 14(1):25-33
Part 1 of this review discussed the connection between the human gut microbiota and health. Manipulation of the intestinal microbiota holds promise as a prospective therapy for gut dysbiosis, ameliorating symptoms of gastrointestinal and systemic diseases and restoring health. The concept of probiotics has existed for more than 100 y, and modern research methods have established sound scientific support for the perceived benefits of probiotic bacteria, which mainly include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera. On the basis of these evidence-based functional approaches, dietary interventions that supplement the normal diet with probiotics or prebiotics are now considered as potentially viable alternatives or adjuncts to the use of steroids, immunosuppressants, and/or surgical interventions. Studies investigating the impact on gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); and systemic metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, in response to the use of probiotics and prebiotics are reviewed. Further, faecal microbial transplantation (FMT) is discussed as an exciting development in the treatment of gut dysbiosis using microbes.
Madden J, Hunter J O. A review of the role of the gut microflora in irritable bowel syndrome and the effects of probiotics. British Journal of Nutrition 2002, 88, Suppl: s67-s72.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a multi-factorial gastrointestinal condition affecting 8-22 % of the population with a higher prevalence in women and accounting for 20-50 % of referrals to gastroenterology clinics. It is characterised by abdominal pain, excessive flatus, variable bowel habit and abdominal bloating for which there is no evidence of detectable organic disease. Suggested aetiologies include gut motility and psychological disorders, psychophysiological phenomena and colonic malfermentation. The faecal microflora in IBS has been shown to be abnormal with higher numbers of facultative organisms and low numbers of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Although there is no evidence of food allergy in IBS, food intolerance has been identified and exclusion diets are beneficial to many IBS patients. Food intolerance may be due to abnormal fermentation of food residues in the colon, as a result of disruption of the normal flora. The role of probiotics in IBS has not been clearly defined. Some studies have shown improvements in pain and flatulence in response to probiotic administration, whilst others have shown no symptomatic improvement. It is possible that the future role of probiotics in IBS will lie in prevention, rather than cure.
Minney S. Probiotics- the success story. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 1991, 51 (4): 557-9
A role exists for the use of probiotic products as a prophylactic treatment for scouring in pigs.