The gut microbiota is a crucial modulator of health effects elicited by food components, with SCFA (short chain fatty acids), especially butyrate, acting as important mediators thereof. We therefore developed a nutritional synbiotic composition targeted at shifting microbiome composition and activity towards butyrate production. An intestinal screening model was applied to identify probiotic Bacillus strains plus various amino acids and peptides with suitable effects on microbial butyrate producers and levels. A pilot study was performed to test if the synbiotic formulation could improve fecal butyrate levels in healthy humans. A combination of Bacillus subtilis DSM (Number of German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures) 32315 plus L-alanyl-L-glutamine resulted in distinctly increased levels of butyrate and butyrate-producing taxa (Clostridium group XIVa, e.g., Faecalibacterium prausnitzii), both in vitro and in humans. Moreover, circulating lipid parameters (LDL-, and total cholesterol and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio) were significantly decreased and further metabolic effects such as glucose-modulation were observed. Fasting levels of PYY (Peptide YY) and GLP-1 (Glucagon-like Peptide 1) were significantly reduced. In conclusion, our study indicates that this synbiotic composition may provide an effective and safe tool for stimulation of intestinal butyrate production with effects on e.g., lipid and glucose homeostasis. Further investigations in larger cohorts are warranted to confirm and expand these findings.
Keywords: colon-targeted delivery; dietary supplement; metabolic syndrome; microbiome modulation; probiotic.