The traditionally perceived function of nutrition includes supplying the consumer with the appropriate quantity and quality of substrates. As nutritional substrates, proteins are prone to spontaneously occurring non-enzymatic glycosylation (glycation) which can alter their molecular structure, making them highly bioactive. Glycated food proteins are able to modify the bacterial intestinal ecosystem, which is of great importance for the optimal usage of nutrients and maintenance of both intestinal homeostasis and balanced health status of the consumer. This study aimed to determine the impact of glycated pea proteins on the intestinal bacteria from a healthy human. The analyses were conducted with the use of experimental batch-type simulator models imitating human intestinal conditions. The glycated pea proteins affected the growth of gut commensal bacteria, particularly lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, whose levels increased significantly. There was a corresponding shift in the bacterial metabolites with increased levels of the short chain fatty acids (SCFAs); acetate, propionate lactate and butyrate. Intestinal bacteria were able to utilize these pea proteins thus indicating that the energy encrypted in glycated pea proteins, partially inaccessible for gastric enzymes, may be salvaged by gut microbiota. Such changes in microbial composition may beneficially impact the intestinal environment and exert a health-promoting effect in humans.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.