In vitro analysis of partially hydrolyzed guar gum fermentation on identified gut microbiota

Anaerobe. 2016 Dec:42:60-66. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2016.08.006. Epub 2016 Aug 30.


Background: Prebiotic dietary fibers resist digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract and allow for stimulation of bacteria in the distal intestine and colon. Stimulation of bacteria among different individuals varies greatly, depending on a wide range of variables.

Objective: To determine the range of differences in response between individuals, a preclinical in vitro fermentation was conducted with six fecal donors. The primary objective was to compare the fecal microbiota of six individuals at baseline, 12 h and 24 h post-exposure to partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG).

Method: Fecal donations were collected from six healthy individuals consuming a non-specific Western diet, free of antibiotic treatments in the past year, not affected by any GI diseases and not consuming any probiotic or prebiotic supplements. Fecal samples were exposed to 0.5 g of PHGG and measured for bacterial changes at 0, 12 and 24 h based on 16S rRNA sequencing.

Results: Parabacteroides increased from 3.48% of sequence reads to 10.62% of sequence reads after 24 h (p = 0.0181) and Bacteroidetes increased from 45.89% of sequence reads to 50.29% of sequence reads (p = 0.0008).

Conclusions: PHGG stimulates growth of Parabacteroides, a genus of bacteria that have been inversely associated with IBS and ulcerative colitis. PHGG provides stimulation of beneficial Bacteroidetes (Bacteroides and Parabacteroides), which may be correlated with many positive health markers and outcomes. PHGG is a prebiotic dietary fiber that is readily fermentable.

Keywords: Fermentation; Microbiome; Microbiota; PHGG; Prebiotic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteroidetes / drug effects
  • Bacteroidetes / growth & development
  • Bacteroidetes / metabolism*
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Culture Media / chemistry
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Galactans / metabolism*
  • Galactans / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Male
  • Mannans / metabolism*
  • Mannans / pharmacology
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Gums / metabolism*
  • Plant Gums / pharmacology
  • Prebiotics / analysis*


  • Culture Media
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Galactans
  • Mannans
  • Plant Gums
  • Prebiotics
  • guar gum