Probiotics are live microorganisms distributed in the gastrointestinal tract that confer health benefits to the host when administered in adequate amounts. Bifidobacteria have been widely tested as a therapeutic strategy in the prevention and treatment of a broad spectrum of gastrointestinal disorders as well as in the regulation of the "microbiota-gut-brain axis". Metabolomic techniques can provide details in the study of molecular metabolic mechanisms involved in Bifidobacteria function through the analysis of metabolites that positively contribute to human health. This study was focused on the effects of the chronic assumption of a mixture of Bifidobacteria in adult male rats using a metabolomic approach. Plasma samples were collected at the end of treatment and analyzed with a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) platform. Partial least square discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was performed to compare the metabolic pattern in control and probiotic-treated rats. Our results show, in probiotic-treated animals, an increase in metabolites involved in the energetic cycle, such as glucose, erythrose, creatinine, taurine and glycolic acid, as well as 3-hydroxybutyric acid. This is an important metabolite of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) with multitasking roles in energy circuit balance, and it has also been proposed to have a key role in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Bifidobacteria; GC-MS; metabolomic; microbiota.