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Acidic pH promotes butyric acid production from pectin by the fecal microflora

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Researchers at TalTech University of Technology, Grete Raba, Signe Adamberg, and Kaarel Adamberg have shown that an acidic environment promotes the production of butyric acid from apple pectin by the faecal bacterial consortium, the microflora. Pectin is a dietary fiber that is abundant in apples, berries, fruits and vegetables. Pectin is used in jellies and desserts. Human digestive enzymes cannot break down pectin, so it is metabolized by microorganisms in the large intestine.Key conclusions of the study published in FEMS Microbiology LetterWas the importance of environmental acidity (pH) to the composition and metabolism of colonic bacteria. However, colon pH is strongly related to diet.

A fiber-rich diet rich in whole-grain products, vegetables, fruits, and berries supports the formation of beneficial metabolic products by the colon. Bacteria.. Butyric acid, one of the well-known metabolites, provides energy and nutrients to enterocytes and protects the host from inflammation and infection. In addition, dietary fiber improves intestinal transit rate (the movement of chyme through the intestines) and controls intestinal pH. The pH of the colon of a healthy person remains between 6 and 7, but elevated pH (more basic pH> 7 to 8) is associated with some enteropathy such as irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer. doing.

Scientists at TalTech University of Technology studied the effect of pH 6-8 on the composition and metabolism of a complex fecal microbiota consortium. In vitro.. In the experiment, the growth of butyric acid-producing bacteria (Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Coprococcus come), Acid environment (PH 7.5), the microbial composition typical of a fiber-deficient diet resembled that characteristic of the pathology. The number of proteolytic bacteria is increasing and the content of potentially harmful substances is high. It was found that certain bacteria clearly preferred higher acidity and others preferred a more basic environment. However, some taxa have excellent adaptability and can grow at a wide range of pH.

The dynamics of the bacterial consortium are primarily controlled by the availability of substrates. Although current studies have studied specific effects of pectin, actual foods contain a mixture of several dietary fibers that have different effects on the colon’s microflora.

As an important result, the authors observed a significant effect of acidity on the dynamics of mucin-degrading bacteria. Mucin is the main component of the mucous layer that lines the intestinal epithelial cells. The continuous secretion of mucin acts as a protective layer between the blood circulation and the intestine. Certain colonic bacteria can break down mucin as an energy source. Therefore, in order to maintain effective protective function, it is necessary to control the number of mucin-degrading bacteria.

In addition to the effects of acidity, changes in the bacterial consortium were studied at two different dilutions, simulating fast and slow colonic transit rates. The main difference observed is an increase in the abundance of methanogenic species at slow dilutions, which has been shown to occur in the case of colon cancer. Second, the fast dilution supported the growth of butyric acid-producing bacteria.

A study by Grete Raba, Signe Adamberg, and Kaarel Adamberg confirms the importance of pH as an important factor in controlling the growth and metabolism of the colonic microflora.

This information is important not only for nutritionists, but also for further in vitro studies and diagnoses of gut health. Measuring fecal pH quickly and cheaply is an emphasized method, but it provides valuable information on a person’s nutrition and health. Fruits, berries and vegetables that contain pectin are essential for gut health.


Scientists are studying the effect of gut microbiota growth rate on dietary fiber breakdown


For more information:
Grete Raba et al, acidic pH promotes butyric acid production from pectin by the fecal microflora. FEMS Microbiology Letter (2021). DOI: 10.1093 / femsle / fnab042

Provided by the Estonian Research Council

Quote: Acid pH obtained from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-acidic-ph-butyrate-production-pectin.html on June 29, 2021 (June 29, 2021) Enhances butyric acid production from pectin

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Acidic pH promotes butyric acid production from pectin by the fecal microflora

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