Hydrogen sulfide toxicity in the gut environment: Meta-analysis of sulfate-reducing and lactic acid bacteria in inflammatory processes

J Adv Res. 2020 Mar 17:27:55-69. doi: 10.1016/j.jare.2020.03.003. eCollection 2021 Jan.


Background: Hydrogen sulfide is the final product of sulfate-reducing bacteria metabolism. Its high concentration in the gut can affect adversely bowel environment and intestinal microbiota by toxicity and pH lowering.

Aim of review: The aim of the review was to give observations related to the properties of bacterial communities inhabiting the gut, with the emphasis on sulfate-reducing bacteria and lactic acid bacteria.

Key scientific concepts of review: The conduction of meta-analysis was another goal, since it gave statistical observation of the relevant studies. The review literature consisted of more than 160 studies, published from 1945 to 2019. Meta-analysis included 16 studies and they were chosen from the Web of Science database. The systematic review gave important information about the development of gut inflammation, with emphasis on sulfate-reducing and lactic acid bacteria. Oppositely from sulfate-reducing bacteria, probiotic properties of lactic acid bacteria are effective inhibitors against inflammatory bowel disease development, including ulcerative colitis. These facts were confirmed by the conducted meta-analysis. The results and observations gained from the systematic review represent the emphasized importance of gut microbiota for bowel inflammation. On the other side, it should be stated that more studies in the future will provide even better confirmations.

Keywords: Bowel inflammations; Hydrogen sulfide; Lactic acid bacteria; Probiotics; Sulfate-reducing bacteria; Toxicity; Ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Review