Colonic transit time is related to bacterial metabolism and mucosal turnover in the gut

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Henrik Munch Roager, Lea Benedicte Skov Hansen, Martin I Bahl, Henrik Lauritz Frandsen, Vera Carvalho, Rikke J Gøbel, Marlene Danner Dalgaard, Damian Rafal Plichta, Morten H Sparholt, Henrik Vestergaard, Torben Hansen, Thomas Sicheritz-Ponten, H Bjørn Nielsen, Oluf Pedersen, Lotte Lauritzen, Mette Bredal Kristensen, Ramneek Gupta, Tine R Licht

Little is known about how colonic transit time relates to human colonic metabolism and its importance for host health, although a firm stool consistency, a proxy for a long colonic transit time, has recently been positively associated with gut microbial richness. Here, we show that colonic transit time in humans, assessed using radio-opaque markers, is associated with overall gut microbial composition, diversity and metabolism. We find that a long colonic transit time associates with high microbial richness and is accompanied by a shift in colonic metabolism from carbohydrate fermentation to protein catabolism as reflected by higher urinary levels of potentially deleterious protein-derived metabolites. Additionally, shorter colonic transit time correlates with metabolites possibly reflecting increased renewal of the colonic mucosa. Together, this suggests that a high gut microbial richness does not per se imply a healthy gut microbial ecosystem and points at colonic transit time as a highly important factor to consider in microbiome and metabolomics studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16093
JournalNature Microbiology
Volume1
Issue number9
Number of pages9
ISSN2058-5276
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 165661307