Mechanistic insights into consumption of the food additive xanthan gum by the human gut microbiota - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Nature Microbiology Year : 2022

Mechanistic insights into consumption of the food additive xanthan gum by the human gut microbiota

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Matthew Ostrowski
Andrew Robertson
Gabriel Pereira
Live Hagen
Ling Qiu
  • Function : Author
Tianming Yao
  • Function : Author
Gabrielle Flint
  • Function : Author
James Li
  • Function : Author
Sean Mcdonald
  • Function : Author
Duna Buttner
  • Function : Author
Matthew Schnizlein
Vincent Young
Harry Brumer
Thomas Schmidt
Nicolas Terrapon
Bernard Henrissat
Bruce Hamaker
Emiley Eloe-Fadrosh
Ashootosh Tripathi
  • Function : Author
Phillip Pope
Eric Martens

Abstract

Processed foods often include food additives such as xanthan gum, a complex polysaccharide with unique rheological properties, that has established widespread use as a stabilizer and thickening agent. Xanthan gum's chemical structure is distinct from those of host and dietary polysaccharides that are more commonly expected to transit the gastrointestinal tract, and little is known about its direct interaction with the gut microbiota, which plays a central role in digestion of other dietary fibre polysaccharides. Here we show that the ability to digest xanthan gum is common in human gut microbiomes from industrialized countries and appears contingent on a single uncultured bacterium in the family Ruminococcaceae. Our data reveal that this primary degrader cleaves the xanthan gum backbone before processing the released oligosaccharides using additional enzymes. Some individuals harbour Bacteroides intestinalis that is incapable of consuming polymeric xanthan gum but grows on oligosaccharide products generated by the Ruminococcaceae. Feeding xanthan gum to germfree mice colonized with a human microbiota containing the uncultured Ruminococcaceae supports the idea that the additive xanthan gum can drive expansion of the primary degrader Ruminococcaceae, along with exogenously introduced B. intestinalis. Our work demonstrates the existence of a potential xanthan gum food chain involving at least two members of different phyla of gut bacteria and provides an initial framework for understanding how widespread consumption of a recently introduced food additive influences human microbiomes.
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Dates and versions

hal-03666905 , version 1 (12-05-2022)

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Matthew Ostrowski, Sabina Leanti La Rosa, Benoit Kunath, Andrew Robertson, Gabriel Pereira, et al.. Mechanistic insights into consumption of the food additive xanthan gum by the human gut microbiota. Nature Microbiology, 2022, 7 (4), pp.556-569. ⟨10.1038/s41564-022-01093-0⟩. ⟨hal-03666905⟩
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