CRC 1182 Talk – Prof. Dr. Liping Zhao (Rutgers University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University) – 30.06.2020
Biological Colloquium of the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 4:00 pm
As guest of the CRC 1182
Prof Dr. Liping Zhao
Rutgers University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Dietary Fibers and the Foundation Guild of Gut Microbiota for Human Metabolic Health
Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) from bacterial fermentation of dietary fibers play many essential roles in human nutrition, immunity and metabolism. Our ancestors had much higher intake of dietary fibers than us today. Reduced intake of dietary fibers and diminished abundance/diversity of SCFA-producing bacteria may underlie many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. In patients with type 2 diabetes, increased intake of diverse dietary fibers selectively promoted a group of acetic and butyric acid producers, that stimulated insulin secretion via more production of GLP-1 in the gut. More importantly, they inhibited pathogenic and detrimental bacteria, which may promote inflammation and suppress GLP-1 production, possibly by acidifying the gut environment, producing antimicrobials and occupying available niches etc. Thus, in addition to providing SCFAs to directly benefit the hosts, this group of SCFA producers plays important ecological functions for keeping pathogens at bay in the gut microbiota. Akin to tall trees in a closed forest, they work as the “foundation guild” for structuring and stabilizing the healthy gut microbiota. This group of functionally important gut bacteria may become a new target of personalized nutrition for health recovery and maintenance.