Jansma et al, 2023, Gut Microbes

Investigating the effect of probiotics in the small intestine is particularly complex, due to its inaccessible location in the gastrointestinal tract. To overcome this challenge, we employed the high throughput ex vivo SIFR® technology, which is validated to provide predictive insights for clinical findings. We investigated the effects of a 9-species probiotic formula (Ecologic® 825) on the ileostoma microbiota of healthy humans. To account for interpersonal variation, we included six donors in the study. Microbial composition and metabolite production were analysed at 5 different time points, which facilitated the identification of correlations between dynamic changes in the microbial composition and metabolic fingerprints of the community. Notably, supplementation with the probiotic formula led to a decrease in ethanol production, associated with a reduction of pathobionts such as Enterococcaceae and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Additionally, the abundance of beneficial species such as Lactobacillaceae, Veillonella dispar and Anaestipes caccae  resulted in a sharp increase in the levels of propionate, butyrate, and other health-related metabolites. The findings of this SIFR® study can be used to develop more effective treatments for a range of small intestinal conditions. 

Van den Abbeele et al, 2023, International Journal of Molecular Sciences

After ascertaining the prebiotic potential of tributyrin in a first study, we wanted to discover synbiotic combination further stimulating butyrate production. Relying on the high throughput of the ex vivo SIFR® technology, an exhaustive investigation was set up for the prebiotic (tributyrin) and the probiotics (Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG, Limosilactobacillus reuteri), alone or in combination. To account for inter-individual variations, the gut microbiota of 6 donors was tested in parallel. The experiment confirmed that, while each molecule of tributyrin is easily converted to 3 butyrate on its own, the addition of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG or Limosilactobacillus reuteri opened an additional pathway of conversion through butyrate by first converting tributyrin-derived glycerol to lactate, which could in turn could be metabolised to butyrate by the endemic microorganism Coprococcus catus.