The gut microbiota is the complex community of microorganisms that inhabit the human intestine. Gut microbes participate in many aspects of human physiology, including health and disease. Food ingredients, drugs and other environmental factors can affect the gut microbiota, with possible consequences on human health.
Progress in microbiome research has significantly stimulated and expanded the interest in technologies to study the potential of different products to modulate the gastro-intestinal ecosystem. In this context we have developed a method, called the i-screen, to evaluate the effects of compounds on the human gut microbiota. The i-screen is an in vitro system that allows the anaerobic cultivation of microorganisms obtained from fecal material, and therefore representative of the highly diverse colonic microbiota. By means of specific analyses, the effects of test compounds on the gut microbiota composition and metabolic activity can be assessed.
The i-screen has proven to be an effective and versatile experimental model of the gut microbiota, routinely applied to evaluate the effects of food ingredients and drugs. This system constitutes a valid contribution to product development and a starting point for a better understanding of the role of gut microbiota in host health.
Published Date: 2019-09-16; Received Date: 2019-08-25