Influence of resistant starch on the SCFA production and cell counts of butyrate-producing Eubacterium spp. in the human intestine

J Appl Microbiol. 2002;93(1):157-62. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2672.2002.01679.x.


Aims: The genus Eubacterium, which is the second most common genus in the human intestine, includes several known butyrate producers. We hypothesized that Eubacterium species play a role in the intestinal butyrate production and are inducible by resistant starch.

Methods and results: In a human pilot study species-specific and group-specific 16S rRNA-targeted, Cy3 (indocarbocyanine)-labelled oligonucleotide probes were used to quantify butyrogenic species of the genera Eubacterium, Clostridium and Ruminococcus. Following the intake of RS type III a significant increase in faecal butyrate but not in total SCFA was observed. However, increase in butyrate was not accompanied by a proliferation in the targeted bacteria.

Conclusions: The tested Eubacterium species have the capacity to produce butyrate but do not appear to play a major role for butyric acid production in the human intestine.

Significance and impact of the study: In view of the fact that the bacteria responsible for butyrate production are largely unknown, it is still difficult to devise a dietary intervention to stimulate butyrogenic bacteria in a targeted way.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / analysis
  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Butyrates / analysis
  • Butyrates / metabolism*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Eubacterium / genetics
  • Eubacterium / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Propionates / analysis
  • Propionates / metabolism
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Starch / administration & dosage*
  • Starch / metabolism


  • Acetates
  • Butyrates
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Propionates
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Starch