Dynamics of Human Gut Microbiota and Short-Chain Fatty Acids in Response to Dietary Interventions with Three Fermentable Fibers.

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PubMed ID: 30696735

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Baxter NT, Schmidt AW, Venkataraman A, Kim KS, Waldron C, Schmidt TM

MBio. Jan 2019

COMMENT: This work is focused on how supplementing the diets with fermentable fibers could affect the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), especially butyrate.

In this study, the authors analyzed changes in gut microbiota using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and quantify the SCFAs with HPLC.

We attempted to increase butyrate production by supplementing the diets of 174 healthy young adults for 2 weeks with resistant starch from potatoes (RPS), resistant starch from maize (RMS), inulin from chicory root, or an accessible corn starch control.


The aim of this study was to investigate if the three resistant polysaccharides stimulate butyrate production and the change of microbiome composition to these dietary additions.


Consuming RPS led to an increase in the average concentration of fecal butyrate. Neither inulin nor RMS produced a significant change in butyrate

Bifidobacteria are particularly effective at using some fiber supplements, they do not establish cross-feeding reactions with butyrogenic populations as readily as Ruminococcus-responsive microbiomes... The only butyrate producer whose abundance increased with a primary degrader and was associated with higher fecal butyrate is Eubacterium rectale


These results reveal that not all fermentable fibers are equally capable of stimulating SCFA production, and they highlight the importance of the composition of an individual’s microbiota in determining whether or not they respond to a specific dietary supplement. In particular, R. bromii or C. chartatabidum may be required for enhanced butyrate production in response to RS. Bifidobacteria, though proficient at degrading RS and inulin, may not contribute to the butyrogenic effect of those fermentable fibers in the short term.


Carmen Martín