Metabolic and Microbial Modulation of the Large Intestine Ecosystem by Non-Absorbed Diet Phenolic Compounds: A Review

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Motilva Casado, Mª JoséMotilva Casado, Mª José - ORCID ID
Macià i Puig, Ma AlbaMacià i Puig, Ma Alba - ORCID ID
Mosele, Juana
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cc-by (c) Motilva Casado, Mª José et al., 2015
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Phenolic compounds represent a diverse group of phytochemicals whose intake is associated with a wide spectrum of health benefits. As consequence of their low bioavailability, most of them reach the large intestine where, mediated by the action of local microbiota, a series of related microbial metabolites are accumulated. In the present review, gut microbial transformations of non-absorbed phenolic compounds are summarized. Several studies have reached a general consensus that unbalanced diets are associated with undesirable changes in gut metabolism that could be detrimental to intestinal health. In terms of explaining the possible effects of non-absorbed phenolic compounds, we have also gathered information regarded their influence on the local metabolism. For this purpose, a number of issues are discussed. Firstly, we consider the possible implications of phenolic compounds in the metabolism of colonic products, such as short chain fatty acids (SCFA), sterols (cholesterol and bile acids), and microbial products of non-absorbed proteins. Due to their being recognized as affective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, the ability of phenolic compounds to counteract or suppress pro-oxidant and/or pro-inflammatory responses, triggered by bowel diseases, is also presented. The modulation of gut microbiota through dietetic maneuvers including phenolic compounds is also commented on. Although the available data seems to assume positive effects in terms of gut health protection, it is still insufficient for solid conclusions to be extracted, basically due to the lack of human trials to confirm the results obtained by the in vitro and animal studies. We consider that more emphasis should be focused on the study of phenolic compounds, particularly in their microbial metabolites, and their power to influence different aspects of gut health.
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Molecules, 2015, vol. 20, núm 9, p.17429-17468