Methanobrevibacter Attenuation via Probiotic Intervention Reduces Flatulence in Adult Human: A Non-Randomised Paired-Design Clinical Trial of Efficacy

PLoS One. 2017 Sep 22;12(9):e0184547. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184547. eCollection 2017.


Trial design: The aim of this study was to investigate which of the gut microbes respond to probiotic intervention, as well as study whether they are associated with gastrointestinal symptoms in a healthy adult human. For the experimental purpose, twenty-one healthy adults were recruited and received probiotic mixture, which is composed of five Lactobacilli strains and two Bifidobacteria strains, once a day for 60 days. Defecation survey and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis were conducted pre- and post-administration to measure phenotypic differences. Stool samples of the subjects were collected twice.

Methods: The statistical analysis was performed for pair designed metagenome data with 11 phenotypic records of the bioelectrical impedance body composition analyzer and 6 responses of the questionnaires about gastrointestinal symptom. Furthemore, correlation-based network analysis was conducted for exploring complex relationships among microbiome communities.

Results: The abundances of Citrobacter, Klebsiella, and Methanobrevibacter were significantly reduced, which are strong candidates to be highly affected by the probiotic administration. In addition, interaction effects were observed between flatulence symptom attenuation and decreasing patterns of the Methanobrevibacter abundance.

Conclusions: These results reveal that probiotic intervention modulated the composition of gut microbiota and reduced the abundance of potential pathogens (i.e. Citrobacter and Klebsiella). In addition, methanogens (i.e. Methanobrevibacter) associated with the gastrointestinal symptom in an adult human.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bifidobacterium / genetics
  • Electric Impedance
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Flatulence / complications
  • Flatulence / diet therapy*
  • Flatulence / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / genetics
  • Male
  • Methanobrevibacter* / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / microbiology
  • Phenotype
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult

Grant support

The funder (CTCBIO Inc.) and commercial affiliation (C&K Genomics) provided support in the form of salaries for authors SK and YK and MS, JH, and SC, respectively, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of these authors are articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section. This work was also supported by a grant from the Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program (PJ01115901), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.