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Only 6 to 8 % of the UK adults meet the daily recommendation for dietary fibre. Fava bean processing lead to vast amounts of high-fibre by-products such as hulls. Bean hull fortified bread was formulated to increase and diversify dietary fibre while reducing waste. This study assessed the bean hull: suitability as a source of dietary fibre; the systemic and microbial metabolism of its components and postprandial events following bean hull bread rolls. Nine healthy participants (53·9 ± 16·7 years) were recruited for a randomised controlled crossover study attending two 3 days intervention sessions, involving the consumption of two bread rolls per day (control or bean hull rolls). Blood and faecal samples were collected before and after each session and analysed for systemic and microbial metabolites of bread roll components using targeted LC-MS/MS and GC analysis. Satiety, gut hormones, glucose, insulin and gastric emptying biomarkers were also measured. Two bean hull rolls provided over 85 % of the daily recommendation for dietary fibre; but despite being a rich source of plant metabolites (P = 0·04 v. control bread), these had poor systemic bioavailability. Consumption of bean hull rolls for 3 days significantly increased plasma concentration of indole-3-propionic acid (P = 0·009) and decreased faecal concentration of putrescine (P = 0·035) and deoxycholic acid (P = 0·046). However, it had no effect on postprandial plasma gut hormones, bacterial composition and faecal short chain fatty acids amount. Therefore, bean hulls require further processing to improve their bioactives systemic availability and fibre fermentation.
The composition and metabolic activity of the bacteria that inhabit the large intestine can have a major impact on health. Despite considerable inter-individual variation across bacterial species, the dominant phyla are generally highly conserved. There are several exogenous and gut environmental factors that play a role in modulating the composition and activities of colonic bacteria including diet with intakes of different macronutrients, including protein, accounting for approximately 20% of the microbial variation. Certain bacterial species tend to be considered as generalists and can metabolise a broad range of substrates, including both carbohydrate- and protein-derived substrates, whilst other species are specialists with a rather limited metabolic capacity. Metabolism of peptides and amino acids by gut bacteria can result in the formation of a wide range of metabolites several of which are considered deleterious to health including nitrosamines, heterocyclic amines and hydrogen sulphide as some of these products are genotoxic and have been linked to colonic disease. Beneficial metabolites however include SCFA and certain species can use amino acids to form butyrate which is the major energy source for colonocytes. The impact on health may however depend on the source of these products. In this review, we consider the impact of diet, particularly protein diets, on modulating the composition of the gut microbiota and likely health consequences and the potential impact of climate change and food security.
The importance of chronic low-grade inflammation in the pathology of numerous age-related chronic conditions is now clear. An unresolved inflammatory response is likely to be involved from the early stages of disease development. The present position paper is the most recent in a series produced by the International Life Sciences Institute's European Branch (ILSI Europe). It is co-authored by the speakers from a 2013 workshop led by the Obesity and Diabetes Task Force entitled ‘Low-grade inflammation, a high-grade challenge: biomarkers and modulation by dietary strategies’. The latest research in the areas of acute and chronic inflammation and cardiometabolic, gut and cognitive health is presented along with the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying inflammation–health/disease associations. The evidence relating diet composition and early-life nutrition to inflammatory status is reviewed. Human epidemiological and intervention data are thus far heavily reliant on the measurement of inflammatory markers in the circulation, and in particular cytokines in the fasting state, which are recognised as an insensitive and highly variable index of tissue inflammation. Potential novel kinetic and integrated approaches to capture inflammatory status in humans are discussed. Such approaches are likely to provide a more discriminating means of quantifying inflammation–health/disease associations, and the ability of diet to positively modulate inflammation and provide the much needed evidence to develop research portfolios that will inform new product development and associated health claims.
Obesity is a critical health concern and although genetic factors may predispose an individual to become obese, changes in diet and lifestyle over the last few decades are likely to be significant contributors. Even so, it has been suggested that the causes of the current obesity crisis are not simply explained by changes in eating and exercise habits. Evidence suggests that the gut microbiota may play an important role in obesity and may be a factor in the development of associated disease including diabetes, CVD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer. There have been tremendous advances in knowledge regarding the composition of human gut microbiota, but less is known about their function and role within the human host. It is becoming widely accepted that the products of microbial metabolism influence human health and disease, particularly with respect to immune response and inflammation. However, in most cases, the products of microbial metabolism are uncharacterised and their mechanism of action remains unknown. This review addresses the role of the metabolites produced by gut microbiota in cancer and obesity. It is clear that only if the link between microbial diversity and metabolic functionality is firmly established, will the mechanism by which gut microbiota maintains health or contributes to disease development be elucidated.