Both alcohol consumption and antibiotic treatment detrimentally impact the microbial community structure of the gut and significantly reduce the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) – metabolites crucial to metabolic health and the maintenance of gut and immune homeostasis.
However, DS-01 was found to protect both gut function and microbiome composition after alcohol and antibiotics, and shifted the gut microbiome to a new, post-stress state marked by an increased abundance of beneficial gut microbes and metabolites, including the SCFAs butyrate and acetate.
The study used the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME), a widely accepted in vitro model of the gut microbiome, inoculated with a complex gut microbial community from a healthy donor.
Commenting on importance of the study, the researchers stated: “Treatment of stressed communities with a microbial synbiotic resulted in the recovery of SCFA production as well as an increase in the abundance of beneficial commensal organisms.
“Our results suggest that treatment with a microbial synbiotic has the potential to restore healthy gut microbiome function after stress and merits further investigation in clinical studies,” they wrote in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Seed's flagship synbiotic for adults, DS-01 Daily Synbiotic, was developed with Dr Gregor Reid, Seed Health's Scientific Advisor, past-President of the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), and former Chair of the UN-World Health Organization Expert Panel that authored the global scientific definition of probiotics.
DS-01 is described as a “broad-spectrum probiotic with 24 genetically distinct microorganisms across 12 species, including strains with novel mechanistic data that have been investigated in multiple randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trials”.
The product won the NutraIngredients-USA Award for probiotic product of the year in 2022.
Using SHIME, the researchers, led by Seed’s Braden Tierney, tested how acute alcohol or broad-spectrum antibiotic administration impacted the gut, and found that both led to decreases in SCFA production.
DS-01 was found to not only restore gut function, but also enhance it. Indeed, production of butyrate and acetate increased by up to 30% and 19%, respectively, compared to untreated, dysbiotic samples.
The synbiotic also increased the relative abundances of beneficial gut microorganisms, including Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Gordonibacter pamelaeae (an urolithin-producing organism), neither of which are present in the DS-01 formulation.
“These results lead us to conclude that functional shifts in the microbiome, evaluated by both metabolite production and specific taxonomic compositional changes, are an appropriate metric to assess microbiome “recovery” following a dysbiosis-inducing disruption,” wrote Dr Tierney and his co-authors.
“Overall, these findings support the execution of randomized clinical studies to determine whether a microbial synbiotic can help restore microbiome function after a disruption.”
Source: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1128/aem.01880-22
“Capacity of a Microbial Synbiotic To Rescue the In Vitro Metabolic Activity of the Gut Microbiome following Perturbation with Alcohol or Antibiotics”
Authors: B.T. Tierney et al.