The gut microbiota is closely related to good health; thus, there have been extensive efforts dedicated to improving health by controlling the gut microbial environment. Probiotics and prebiotics are being developed to support a healthier intestinal environment. However, much work remains to be performed to provide effective solutions to overcome individual differences in the gut microbial community. This study examined the importance of nutrients, other than dietary fiber, on the survival of gut bacteria in high-health-conscious populations. We found that vitamin B1, which is an essential nutrient for humans, had a significant effect on the survival and competition of bacteria in the symbiotic gut microbiota. In particular, sufficient dietary vitamin B1 intake affects the relative abundance of Ruminococcaceae, and these bacteria have proven to require dietary vitamin B1 because they lack the de novo vitamin B1 synthetic pathway. Moreover, we demonstrated that vitamin B1 is involved in the production of butyrate, along with the amount of acetate in the intestinal environment. We established the causality of possible associations and obtained mechanical insight, through in vivo murine experiments and in silico pathway analyses. These findings serve as a reference to support the development of methods to establish optimal intestinal environment conditions for healthy lifestyles.
Keywords: 16S rRNA; Faecalibacterium; Ruminococcaceae; SCFAs; butyrate; gut microbiota; nutrients; pathway; thiamine; vitamins.