Dietary fiber is known to be beneficial to gut health. However, it has a wide range of effects on the composition and metabolic activity of the gut microbiome.
Previous research has revealed that each person’s sensitivity to fiber is influenced by his or her baseline gut microbiome, but the ecology that drives microbiota remodeling during fiber use is unknown.
Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) recently suggested an ecology model for understanding the evolution of the gut microbiome in regard to dietary fiber.
Their study was reported in The ISME Journal on May 21st, 2022.
The scientists investigated the ecological foundation for a baseline-dependent dynamic response to dietary fiber by profiling the gut microbiota of mice across time. They developed an ecology model for the mice gut microbiome using the time series data, which identified a group of bacteria whose development rose dramatically in reaction to inulin.
The baseline-dependence of the microbiome density and fecal concentration of short-chain fatty acids was addressed by the baseline diversity and interspecies competition of these bacteria. The major metabolites produced by bacterial fermentation of dietary fiber are these fatty acids, which have a range of health benefits.
This ecological approach could be used to analyze time series data from both synthetic and natural human gut microbiomes in reaction to dietary fiber. Fiber responses and interspecies interactions predicted by the model could be tested in vitro.
Our findings indicate that the model can be used as a useful framework to infer ecological drivers and interactions in complex gut microbial communities."
Lei Dai, Study Corresponding Author and Professor, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology
This research offers an ecological framework for understanding the gut microbiome’s changes in response to dietary fiber. It is crucial for understanding the gut microbiota’s specific reactions, and it could lead to more reasonable nutritional methods for precisely controlling the gut microbiome.
Liu, H., et al. (2022) Ecological dynamics of the gut microbiome in response to dietary fiber. The ISME Journal. doi.org/10.1038/s41396-022-01253-4.