Beneficial Modulators of the Gut Microbiota
The overall goal of my research is to investigate the impact and mechanisms involved in the beneficial modulation of the gut microbiota by prebiotics (functional foods that stimulate growth of gut native beneficial bacteria) and probiotics (live bacteria that benefit their host). I specifically aim to develop prebiotic and probiotic interventions as alternatives to traditional treatments for microbiota-health related conditions, and to advance microbiota-based health surveillance methods.
Prebiotics are resistant to digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract, arrive at the colon intact and increase the abundance of specific primary and secondary degraders with the final result of an expanded probiome, beneficial members of the intestinal microbiota. We have shown that pure prebiotics modulate gut microbiome composition and activity in humans and animal models increasing gut beneficial bacteria. In humans, the modulatory influence of pure galactooligosaccharides significantly improved clinical outcomes for lactose digestion and tolerance. Our current research investigate prebiotics as gut microbiome modulators of age-associated diseases to identify mechanisms of prebiosis in vulnerable populations.
Probiotics can reduce the risk of common infectious and acute diarrheal illnesses, and can be an alternative to treatments with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs. Large-scale microbiome studies have established that most of the bacterial diversity contained in the gastrointestinal tract is represented at the strain level. Hence genomic and physiological characterization of isolates of probiotic potential is essential to determine unique attributes that will allow for personalized interventions. Our lab is conducting functional genomics studies to determine genetic components contributing to probiotic survival in the gastrointestinal tract and capability to metabolize prebiotics.
- Aljumaah MR, Bhatia U, Roach J, Gunstad J, Azcarate Peril MA. The microbiome, mild cognitive impairment, and probiotics: A randomized clinical trial in middle-aged and older adults. Clin Nutr. 2022 Nov;41(11):2565-2576. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2022.09.012. Epub 2022 Sep 28. PMID: 36228569.
- Arnold JW, Roach J, Fabela S, Moorfield E, Ding S, Blue E, Dagher S, Magness S, Tamayo R, Bruno-Barcena JM, Azcarate-Peril MA. The pleiotropic effects of prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides on the aging gut. Microbiome. 2021 Jan 28;9(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s40168-020-00980-0. Erratum in: Microbiome. 2021 Feb 26;9(1):56. PMID: 33509277; PMCID: PMC7845053.
- Azcarate-Peril MA, Roach J, Marsh A, Chey WD, Sandborn WJ, Ritter AJ, Savaiano DA, Klaenhammer TR. A double-blind, 377-subject randomized study identifies Ruminococcus, Coprococcus, Christensenella, and Collinsella as long-term potential key players in the modulation of the gut microbiome of lactose intolerant individuals by galacto-oligosaccharides.Gut Microbes. 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1957536. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2021.1957536.PMID: 34365905; PMCID: PMC8354614
- Arnold JW, Whittington HD, Dagher SF, Roach J, Azcarate-Peril MA, Bruno-Barcena JM. Safety and Modulatory Effects of Humanized Galacto-Oligosaccharides on the Gut Microbiome. Front Nutr. 2021 Apr 7;8:640100. doi:10.3389/fnut.2021.640100. PMID: 33898497; PMCID: PMC8058378.
- Marsh, Alan J, Yaya, Al-Mounawara A, Ng, Sandy, Chandrashekhar, Kshipra, Roach, Jeff, Magness, Scott T, Azcarate-Peril, M Andrea. (2020) Lumen and mucosa-associated Lactobacillus rhamnosus from the intestinal tract of organ donors. Gut Microbiome, Volume 1, 2020, e4, Cambridge University Press.
- Chey, William, Sandborn, William, Ritter, Andrew J, Foyt, Howard, Azcarate-Peril, M Andrea, Savaiano, Dennis A. (2020) Galacto-Oligosaccharide RP-G28 Improves Multiple Clinical Outcomes in Lactose-Intolerant Patients. 2020 Apr 10;12(4):1058. doi: 10.3390/nu12041