INFLUENCES OF BIOACTIVE FOOD COMPONENTS ON THE GUT MICROBIOME

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Bioactive food substances are substances found in food that do not belong to the major nutrient needs of the body but which affect the body in specific ways. They can also be said to be phytochemicals which can be extracted from food or food by-products that regulate metabolic functions. Examples include polyphenols, carotenoids, anthocyanidins, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, glucosinolates, limonoids, terpenoids, resveratrol, polyphenols, phytosterols, phytoestrogens, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. 

They are said to play vital roles in the body by serving as anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, antifungal, antibacterial, antispasmodic, hepato-protective, chemopreventive, hypolipidemic, hypotensive, anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-heart diseases, anti-osteoporosis, and so on. 

Bioactive food components affect the gut microbiome in the following ways. 

 

Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic, arachidonic, and docosahexaenoic acids have been shown to affect different members of the gut microbiome depending on their concentration in the gut. For example, high concentrations of acids inhibit the growth and ability of the bacteria to adhere to mucus. The affected bacteria are Lactobacillus strains. 

 

Conversely, low concentrations of arachidonic acid and gamma-linolenic acid enhance the growth and adhesion of Lactobacillus cases. 

 

Tea phenolics. Bioactive food components of plant origin in the class of olives, tea, wine, and berries have been shown to have antimicrobial activity. For example, tea phenolics inhibit the multiplication of Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium difficile, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, and Bacteroides species. The extent of inhibition depends on the bacteria species involved. 

 

Also, resveratrol which is found in wine promotes the multiplication of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus but inhibits the virulence factors that enable Proteus mirabilis to invade urothelial cells in humans. 

 

Similarly, anthocyanins from berries inhibit the multiplication of Bacillus cereus, Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella species, and Staphylococcus species. 

 

References Charu Gupta et al. (2013). Relationships between bioactive food components and their health benefits. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267390430_Relationships_between_Bioacti ve_Food_Components_and_their_Health_Benefits Laparra, J. M and Sanz, Y. (). Interactions of gut microbiota with functional food components and nutraceuticals. Retrieved from https://www.core.ac.uk .

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