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Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum alters gut luminal metabolism through modification of the gut microbial community

  • 2015-08-28
  • Scientific Reports 5(1)
    • H. Sugahara
    • T. Odamaki
    • S. Fukuda
    • Tamotsu Kato
    • J. Xiao
    • F. Abe
    • J. Kikuchi
    • H. Ohno


Probiotics are well known as health-promoting agents that modulate intestinal microbiota. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. Using gnotobiotic mice harboring 15 strains of predominant human gut-derived microbiota (HGM), we investigated the effects of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 (BB536-HGM) supplementation on the gut luminal metabolism. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics showed significantly increased fecal levels of pimelate, a precursor of biotin, and butyrate in the BB536-HGM group. In addition, the bioassay revealed significantly elevated fecal levels of biotin in the BB536-HGM group. Metatranscriptomic analysis of fecal microbiota followed by an in vitro bioassay indicated that the elevated biotin level was due to an alteration in metabolism related to biotin synthesis by Bacteroides caccae in this mouse model. Furthermore, the proportion of Eubacterium rectale, a butyrate producer, was significantly higher in the BB536-HGM group than in the group without B. longum BB536 supplementation. Our findings help to elucidate the molecular basis underlying the effect of B. longum BB536 on the gut luminal metabolism through its interactions with the microbial community.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium longum BB536Altered Gut Microbial Community CompositionNeutral
Bifidobacterium longum BB536Increased Fecal Biotin LevelsBeneficial
Bifidobacterium longum BB536Increased Fecal Butyrate LevelsBeneficial
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