Selective nourishing of gut microbiota with amino acids: A novel prebiotic approach?

TitleSelective nourishing of gut microbiota with amino acids: A novel prebiotic approach?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBeaumont, M, Roura, E, Lambert, W, Turni, C, Michiels, J, Chalvon-Demersay, T
JournalFront Nutr
Date Published2022

Prebiotics are dietary substrates which promote host health when utilized by desirable intestinal bacteria. The most commonly used prebiotics are non-digestible oligosaccharides but the prebiotic properties of other types of nutrients such as polyphenols are emerging. Here, we review recent evidence showing that amino acids (AA) could function as a novel class of prebiotics based on: (i) the modulation of gut microbiota composition, (ii) the use by selective intestinal bacteria and the transformation into bioactive metabolites and (iii) the positive impact on host health. The capacity of intestinal bacteria to metabolize individual AA is species or strain specific and this property is an opportunity to favor the growth of beneficial bacteria while constraining the development of pathogens. In addition, the chemical diversity of AA leads to the production of multiple bacterial metabolites with broad biological activities that could mediate their prebiotic properties. In this context, we introduce the concept of "Aminobiotics," which refers to the functional role of some AA as prebiotics. We also present studies that revealed synergistic effects of the co-administration of AA with probiotic bacteria, indicating that AA can be used to design novel symbiotics. Finally, we discuss the difficulty to bring free AA to the distal gut microbiota and we propose potential solutions such as the use of delivery systems including encapsulation to bypass absorption in the small intestine. Future studies will need to further identify individual AA, dose and mode of administration to optimize prebiotic effects for the benefit of human and animal health.

Alternate JournalFront Nutr
PubMed ID36601082
PubMed Central IDPMC9806265