Insight in the metabolism of lipids by gut microbiota.

Lipid metabolism by gut microbiome and its effect on gut inflammation and immuno-modulation.

Human gut microbiota can metabolize fatty acids (FAs), attributing to detoxification mechanism of microorganism. The metabolites from microbial metabolism of FAs include conjugated FAs, oxo- FAs and hydroxy- FAs, all of which are reported to exert health effects. Although the metabolic pathway through which bacteria metabolize FAs are reported, no literature explored the food-related effects on the FA conversion of gut microbiota. Furthermore, the gut microbiota composition shaped by some food can have diverse effects on microbial metabolism of food components. Microbial metabolism of FAs is associated with the composition and activity of gut microbiota, and how undigested food in intestine affects this process requires further exploration.

During microbial metabolism of FAs, several FAs with different functional groups are produced. It is reported that these products exert a number of biological effects. Conjugated FAs, which are main products in the process, are responsible for a number of health effects including anti-cancer 1, anti-obesity 2, anti-inflammation and bone formation-promoting properties 3, etc. in in vitro studies. Additionally, intermediates, namely, hydroxyl FAs and oxo- FAs, are formed in the process, 4. These intermediates were also observed in host organ 5, and beneficial effects are yielded 6. Although those effects are reported, fewer works reported the effects of the FA metabolites on gut health, such as remission of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). These products are produced in colon and have potential to work locally. Thus, immune-modulated effects and anti-inflammatory effects of the FA metabolites on gut diseases should have more attention.

Hence, the objectives of this project will aim at: 1) exploring the possibility of modulating FAs metabolism by modifying food structure or composition, 2) investigating the modulation of the FA metabolism through shift of composition of microbiota induced by diets, as well as 3) exploration of the functional effects of FA metabolites on gut health.