A carbohydrate commonly attached to plant proteins is a food source for the bacteria in the gut, new research suggests. Species of gut microbes have been found to use plant N-glycans, a type of complex carbohydrate, as nutrients. 

“The gut microbiome is an incredibly important feature for human health, and this finding will enable us to better understand the microbiome,” highlights Dr. Lucy Crouch, lead author of the study from the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at University of Birmingham, UK.

“By identifying the particular enzymes that these microbes use to digest their food, we can consider how future diets can be developed that promote a healthy gut, and as a result improve our general health,” she explains.

“One unexpected outcome from the study is that insect N-glycans are also targeted by the some of the enzymes discovered. In a future scenario where we increasingly rely on alternative protein sources such as insects, this work provide insights into how insect proteins may also provide nutrients for our gut microbes.”

The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Reseachers used genomic data to identify specific enzymes produced by gut bacteria to break down the complex carbohydrate structures.

Furthering the study of gut science

Information about enzymes that are produced by the gut microbiome will enable researchers to better understand how to manage good gut health.

As the plant sugars that the gut microbes feed on are associated with some allergies from pollen and plant-based foods, the authors suggest that the enzymes could be harnessed to make some foods and medicines less likely to have allergic reactions.

“We are still learning the role our gut plays in our overall health and so learning how microbes in our gut are able to use plant N-glycans is vital,” says Dr. David Bolam, co-lead author of the study from Newcastle University.

“This has developed our knowledge both in terms of understanding how these sugars are broken down by the microbiota, but also to discover new enzymes that could be used to alter and analyze N-glycan structures for medical and industrial applications.”

Good for gut

Scientists have pegged the gut microbiome as the “black box” of nutrition research as diet-microbiome interactions are anticipated to contribute to the foundation of dietary physiological effects. This research is having significant repercussions for nutritious food innovation.

In new ingredient discoveries, a low-calorie sweetener made from mogrosides and galactooligosaccharides was found to promote microbiome health, while performing the same as artificial sweeteners. The novel sweetener is made from sugars found in mammalian milk and an enzyme-enhanced extract from the luo han guo fruit.

A team of scientists recently unraveled how native bacteria may be harnessed to induce persistent and potentially even curative therapeutic changes in the gut. In a proof-of-concept study, the researchers found they could provide long-term therapy for type 2 diabetes in a mouse model. 

In other moves, Lallemand is partnering with the French Gut Project to innovate in health and science by driving microbiota science forward. The project aims to collect and analyze 100,000 intestinal metagenomes and is initiated by INRAE’s MetaGenoPolis unit.

23 Sep 2022 — A carbohydrate commonly attached to plant proteins is a food source for the bacteria in the gut, new research suggests. Species of gut microbes have been found to use plant N-glycans, a type of complex carbohydrate, as nutrients. 

“The gut microbiome is an incredibly important feature for human health, and this finding will enable us to better understand the microbiome,” highlights Dr. Lucy Crouch, lead author of the study from the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at University of Birmingham, UK.

“By identifying the particular enzymes that these microbes use to digest their food, we can consider how future diets can be developed that promote a healthy gut, and as a result improve our general health,” she explains.

“One unexpected outcome from the study is that insect N-glycans are also targeted by the some of the enzymes discovered. In a future scenario where we increasingly rely on alternative protein sources such as insects, this work provide insights into how insect proteins may also provide nutrients for our gut microbes.”

The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Reseachers used genomic data to identify specific enzymes produced by gut bacteria to break down the complex carbohydrate structures.

Furthering the study of gut science
Information about enzymes that are produced by the gut microbiome will enable researchers to better understand how to manage good gut health.

Scientists have pegged the gut microbiome as the “black box” of nutrition research as diet-microbiome interactions are anticipated to contribute to the foundation of dietary physiological effects.These enzymes also have biotechnological applications, such as reducing allergenic responses to food and some medicines.

As the plant sugars that the gut microbes feed on are associated with some allergies from pollen and plant-based foods, the authors suggest that the enzymes could be harnessed to make some foods and medicines less likely to have allergic reactions.

“We are still learning the role our gut plays in our overall health and so learning how microbes in our gut are able to use plant N-glycans is vital,” says Dr. David Bolam, co-lead author of the study from Newcastle University.

“This has developed our knowledge both in terms of understanding how these sugars are broken down by the microbiota, but also to discover new enzymes that could be used to alter and analyze N-glycan structures for medical and industrial applications.”

Good for gut
Scientists have pegged the gut microbiome as the “black box” of nutrition research as diet-microbiome interactions are anticipated to contribute to the foundation of dietary physiological effects. This research is having significant repercussions for nutritious food innovation.

In new ingredient discoveries, a low-calorie sweetener made from mogrosides and galactooligosaccharides was found to promote microbiome health, while performing the same as artificial sweeteners. The novel sweetener is made from sugars found in mammalian milk and an enzyme-enhanced extract from the luo han guo fruit.

A team of scientists recently unraveled how native bacteria may be harnessed to induce persistent and potentially even curative therapeutic changes in the gut. In a proof-of-concept study, the researchers found they could provide long-term therapy for type 2 diabetes in a mouse model. 

In other moves, Lallemand is partnering with the French Gut Project to innovate in health and science by driving microbiota science forward. The project aims to collect and analyze 100,000 intestinal metagenomes and is initiated by INRAE’s MetaGenoPolis unit.

Edited by Benjamin Ferrer

Source: Nutrition Insight

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