Publications by authors named "Benjamin Seethaler"

6 Publications

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Regulation of the gut barrier by carbohydrates from diet - Underlying mechanisms and possible clinical implications.

Int J Med Microbiol 2021 Mar 26;311(4):151499. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Nstitute of Nutritional Medicine, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. Electronic address:

The gut barrier has been recognized as being of relevance in the pathogenesis of multiple different diseases ranging from inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory joint disease, fatty liver disease, and cardiometabolic disorders. The regulation of the gut barrier is, however, poorly understood. Especially, the role of food components such as sugars and complex carbohydrates has been discussed controversially in this respect. More recently, the intestinal microbiota has been proposed as an important regulator of the gut barrier. Whether the microbiota affects the barrier by its own, or whether food components such as carbohydrates mediate their effects through alterations of the microbiota composition or its metabolites, is still not clear. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge on this topic derived from both animal and human studies and discuss data for possible clinical impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmm.2021.151499DOI Listing
March 2021

Prebiotic dietary fibre intervention improves fecal markers related to inflammation in obese patients: results from the Food4Gut randomized placebo-controlled trial.

Eur J Nutr 2021 Feb 5. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Metabolism and Nutrition Research Group, Louvain Drug Research Institute, UCLouvain, Université catholique de Louvain, avenue E. Mounier box B1.73.11, B-1200, Brussels, Belgium.

Purpose: Inulin-type fructans (ITF) are prebiotic dietary fibre (DF) that may confer beneficial health effects, by interacting with the gut microbiota. We have tested the hypothesis that a dietary intervention promoting inulin intake versus placebo influences fecal microbial-derived metabolites and markers related to gut integrity and inflammation in obese patients.

Methods: Microbiota (16S rRNA sequencing), long- and short-chain fatty acids (LCFA, SCFA), bile acids, zonulin, and calprotectin were analyzed in fecal samples obtained from obese patients included in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Participants received either 16 g/d native inulin (prebiotic n = 12) versus maltodextrin (placebo n = 12), coupled to dietary advice to consume inulin-rich versus inulin-poor vegetables for 3 months, in addition to dietary caloric restriction.

Results: Both placebo and prebiotic interventions lowered energy and protein intake. A substantial increase in Bifidobacterium was detected after ITF treatment (q = 0.049) supporting our recent data obtained in a larger cohort. Interestingly, fecal calprotectin, a marker of gut inflammation, was reduced upon ITF treatment. Both prebiotic and placebo interventions increased the ratio of tauro-conjugated/free bile acids in feces. Prebiotic treatment did not significantly modify fecal SCFA content but it increased fecal rumenic acid, a conjugated linoleic acid (cis-9, trans-11 CLA) with immunomodulatory properties, that correlated notably to the expansion of Bifidobacterium (p = 0.031; r = 0.052).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that ITF-prebiotic intake during 3 months decreases a fecal marker of intestinal inflammation in obese patients. Our data point to a potential contribution of microbial lipid-derived metabolites in gastro-intestinal dysfunction related to obesity. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT03852069 (February 22, 2019 retrospectively, registered).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02484-5DOI Listing
February 2021

Noninvasive monitoring of fibre fermentation in healthy volunteers by analyzing breath volatile metabolites: lessons from the FiberTAG intervention study.

Gut Microbes 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-16

Metabolism and Nutrition Research Group, Louvain Drug Research Institute, UCLouvain, Université catholique de Louvain , Brussels, Belgium.

The fermentation of dietary fibre (DF) leads to the production of bioactive metabolites, the most volatile ones being excreted in the breath. The aim of this study was to analyze the profile of exhaled breath volatile metabolites (BVM) and gastrointestinal symptoms in healthy volunteers after a single ingestion of maltodextrin (placebo) versus chitin-glucan (CG), an insoluble DF previously shown to be fermented into short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) by the human microbiota in vitro. Maltodextrin (4.5 g at day 0) or CG (4.5 g at day 2) were added to a standardized breakfast in fasting healthy volunteers (n = 15). BVM were measured using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) throughout the day. A single ingestion of 4.5 g CG did not induce significant gastrointestinal discomfort. Untargeted metabolomics analysis of breath highlighted that 13 MS-fragments (among 408 obtained from ionizations of breath) discriminated CG versus maltodextrin acute intake in the posprandial state. The targeted analysis revealed that CG increased exhaled butyrate and 5 other BVM - including the microbial metabolites 2,3-butanedione and 3-hydroxybutanone - with a peak observed 6 h after CG intake. Correlation analyses with fecal microbiota (Illumina 16S rRNA sequencing) spotlighted as a potential genus responsible for the presence of butyric acid, triethylamine and 3-hydroxybutanone in the breath. In conclusion, measuring BMV in the breath reveals the microbial signature of the fermentation of DF after a single ingestion. This protocol allows to analyze the time-course of released bioactive metabolites that could be proposed as new biomarkers of DF fermentation, potentially linked to their biological properties. Trial registration: Clinical Trials NCT03494491. Registered 11 April 2018 - Retrospectively registered, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03494491.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2020.1862028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833774PMC
January 2021

Metabolite profiling reveals the interaction of chitin-glucan with the gut microbiota.

Gut Microbes 2020 11;12(1):1810530

Metabolism and Nutrition Research Group, Louvain Drug Research Institute, UCLouvain, Université Catholique de Louvain , Brussels, Belgium.

Dietary fibers are considered beneficial nutrients for health. Current data suggest that their interaction with the gut microbiota largely contributes to their physiological effects. In this context, chitin-glucan (CG) improves metabolic disorders associated with obesity in mice, but its effect on gut microbiota has never been evaluated in humans. This study explores the effect of a 3-week intervention with CG supplementation in healthy individuals on gut microbiota composition and bacterial metabolites. CG was given to healthy volunteers (n = 15) for three weeks as a supplement (4.5 g/day). Food diary, visual analog and Bristol stool form scales and a "quality of life" survey were analyzed. Among gut microbiota-derived metabolites, bile acids (BA), long- and short-chain fatty acids (LCFA, SCFA) profiling were assessed in stool samples. The gut microbiota (primary outcome) was analyzed by Illumina sequencing. A 3-week supplementation with CG is well tolerated in healthy humans. CG induces specific changes in the gut microbiota composition, with and genera showing the strongest regulation. In addition, CG increased bacterial metabolites in feces including butyric, iso-valeric, caproic and vaccenic acids. No major changes were observed for the fecal BA profile following CG intervention. In summary, our work reveals new potential bacterial genera and gut microbiota-derived metabolites characterizing the interaction between an insoluble dietary fiber -CG- and the gut microbiota.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2020.1810530DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524357PMC
November 2020

Gut microbiota modulation with long-chain corn bran arabinoxylan in adults with overweight and obesity is linked to an individualized temporal increase in fecal propionate.

Microbiome 2020 08 19;8(1):118. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E1, Canada.

Background: Variability in the health effects of dietary fiber might arise from inter-individual differences in the gut microbiota's ability to ferment these substrates into beneficial metabolites. Our understanding of what drives this individuality is vastly incomplete and will require an ecological perspective as microbiomes function as complex inter-connected communities. Here, we performed a parallel two-arm, exploratory randomized controlled trial in 31 adults with overweight and class-I obesity to characterize the effects of long-chain, complex arabinoxylan (n = 15) at high supplementation doses (female: 25 g/day; male: 35 g/day) on gut microbiota composition and short-chain fatty acid production as compared to microcrystalline cellulose (n = 16, non-fermentable control), and integrated the findings using an ecological framework.

Results: Arabinoxylan resulted in a global shift in fecal bacterial community composition, reduced α-diversity, and the promotion of specific taxa, including operational taxonomic units related to Bifidobacterium longum, Blautia obeum, and Prevotella copri. Arabinoxylan further increased fecal propionate concentrations (p = 0.012, Friedman's test), an effect that showed two distinct groupings of temporal responses in participants. The two groups showed differences in compositional shifts of the microbiota (p ≤ 0.025, PERMANOVA), and multiple linear regression (MLR) analyses revealed that the propionate response was predictable through shifts and, to a lesser degree, baseline composition of the microbiota. Principal components (PCs) derived from community data were better predictors in MLR models as compared to single taxa, indicating that arabinoxylan fermentation is the result of multi-species interactions within microbiomes.

Conclusion: This study showed that long-chain arabinoxylan modulates both microbiota composition and the output of health-relevant SCFAs, providing information for a more targeted application of this fiber. Variation in propionate production was linked to both compositional shifts and baseline composition, with PCs derived from shifts of the global microbial community showing the strongest associations. These findings constitute a proof-of-concept for the merit of an ecological framework that considers features of the wider gut microbial community for the prediction of metabolic outcomes of dietary fiber fermentation. This provides a basis to personalize the use of dietary fiber in nutritional application and to stratify human populations by relevant gut microbiota features to account for the inconsistent health effects in human intervention studies.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02322112 , registered on July 3, 2015. Video Abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40168-020-00887-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7439537PMC
August 2020

Fatty acid profiles in erythrocyte membranes following the Mediterranean diet - data from a multicenter lifestyle intervention study in women with hereditary breast cancer (LIBRE).

Clin Nutr 2020 Aug 2;39(8):2389-2398. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Institute of Nutritional Medicine, University of Hohenheim, Fruwirthstr. 12, 70593, Stuttgart, Germany. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Evidence-based concepts to prevent breast cancer in women with BRCA1/2 mutations are limited. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MedD) has been associated with a lower risk for breast cancer, possibly due to a favorable fatty acid (FA) intake. Here, we studied in an at-risk population the effect of a lifestyle intervention that included the MedD on FA composition in red blood cell membranes (RBCM).

Methods: Data derived from the German multicenter trial LIBRE, from which 68 women were randomized into an intervention group (IG) trained for MedD and increased physical activity for 12 months, and a usual care control group (CG). Adherence to the diet was assessed after 3 and 12 months using the validated Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) and a food frequency questionnaire. RBCM FA were analyzed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry.

Results: The MEDAS was increased in both groups after 3 months (IG: P < 0.001; CG: P = 0.004), and remained increased only in the IG after 12 months (P < 0.001). The food frequency questionnaire revealed an increased intake of omega-3 (n-3) FA at month 3 and month 12 in the IG (both P < 0.01), but not in the CG, in which intake of energy, protein and saturated FA decreased. In both groups n-6 FA in the RBCM decreased (P < 0.001), while n-9 FA increased (P < 0.001) and n-3 FA were unchanged. Women with higher consumption of fish had higher amounts of n-3 fatty acids in the RBCM. The MEDAS was inversely correlated with n-6 fatty acids.

Conclusions: The RBCM FA composition was associated with dietetic parameters related to the MedD. Adherence to the MedD resulted in an altered, likely favorable FA composition. Our data suggest selected FA as biomarkers to monitor compliance to a dietetic intervention such as the MedD.

Clinical Trial Registry: The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (reference: NCT02087592).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2019.10.033DOI Listing
August 2020