Special Issue "Impact of Food Additives and Supplements on Gastrointestinal and Systemic Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Federica I. Wolf
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Faculty of Medicine and Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Interests: magnesium homeostasis; magnesium transport; magnesium channels; oxidative stress; cancer cells; cellular aging; signal transduction;IBD and gut microbiota, food supplements and health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Valentina Petito
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Univ Cattolica Sacro Cuore, Ist Patol Speciale Med, Largo F Vito 8, I-00168 Rome, Italy
Interests: Gut Microbiota; probiotics; mucosal immunology; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; microbiome sequencing; bioinformatics; Translational research
Dr. Valentina Trapani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Patologia Generale, Facoltà di MEDICINA E CHIRURGIA, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
Interests: magnesium absorption; magnesium channels; cell proliferation; human diseases, preventive medicine, aging
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Franco Scaldaferri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dip. Sci. Gastroenterologiche, Endocrino-Metaboliche e Nefro-Urologiche Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli" IRCCS, 00168, Rome, Italy
Interests: Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Digestive Disease; Colon cancer; Gut Microbiota; Intestinal Permeability; Probiotics; Prebiotics; Fecal Microbiota Transplantaion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last fifty years, industrialization and westernization of lifestyle have brought about an exponential increase in the incidence of many diseases, most notably cardiovascular, metabolic, and gastrointestinal disorders. Many recent studies have shown an association between gut microbiota dysbiosis and these noncommunicable diseases, and wide research efforts are currently dedicated to understanding the factors that contribute to maintaining a healthy microbiota and having a positive impact on global health.

Diet is one of the key modulators of gut microbiota composition. Noteworthy,  Western diet is characterized by low intake of fruit, legumes, and vegetable fibers and high intake of red meat, dairy, eggs and refined grains, saturated fat, sugar, and salt may promote dysbiosis. In addition, there is increasing awareness that also food additives, which are commonly present in Western processed foods (dyes, colour stabilizers, flavorings, flavor enhancers, nonsugar sweeteners, processing aids such as carbonating, firming, bulking and anti-bulking, de-foaming, anticaking and glazing agents, emulsifiers), can exert deleterious effects in the gut. A deeper understanding of the impact of those food additives on gut homeostasis is much needed, in view of their possible involvement in the development of gastrointestinal and other non-communicable diseases.

To counterweigh the pitfalls of the Western diet, food supplements, including minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, are widely used, despite poor characterization of their interaction with microbiota, as well as food components and food additives. With the ultimate aim of developing safe and cost-effective nutritional interventions as preventive or adjuvant strategies for many conditions, it is imperative to assess the potential to modulate a healthy gut microbiota through diverse food supplements, additives, and pre- or pro-biotics.

Here, we invite experts to contribute to this Special Issue with original research or review articles that investigate the relationships between food additives/supplements and the gut microbiota, as well as their role in human health, which may suggest novel preventive and/or therapeutic nutritional approaches.

Prof. Dr. Federica I. Wolf
Dr. Valentina Petito
Dr. Valentina Trapani
Dr. Franco Scaldaferri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food additives
  • Food supplements
  • Gut–brain axis
  • Gut microbiota
  • IBD
  • IBS
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Personalized medicine
  • Uptake mechanisms

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Timing of Tributyrin Supplementation Differentially Modulates Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Gut Microbial Recolonization Following Murine Ileocecal Resection
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 2069; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13062069 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Background: Gastrointestinal surgery imparts dramatic and lasting imbalances, or dysbiosis, to the composition of finely tuned microbial ecosystems. The aim of the present study was to use a mouse ileocecal resection (ICR) model to determine if tributyrin (TBT) supplementation could prevent the onset [...] Read more.
Background: Gastrointestinal surgery imparts dramatic and lasting imbalances, or dysbiosis, to the composition of finely tuned microbial ecosystems. The aim of the present study was to use a mouse ileocecal resection (ICR) model to determine if tributyrin (TBT) supplementation could prevent the onset of microbial dysbiosis or alternatively enhance the recovery of the gut microbiota and reduce gastrointestinal inflammation. Methods: Male wild-type (129 s1/SvlmJ) mice aged 8–15 weeks were separated into single cages and randomized 1:1:1:1 to each of the four experimental groups: control (CTR), preoperative TBT supplementation (PRE), postoperative TBT supplementation (POS), and combined pre- and postoperative supplementation (TOT). ICR was performed one week from baseline assessment with mice assessed at 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks postoperatively. Primary outcomes included evaluating changes to gut microbial communities occurring from ICR to 4 weeks. Results: A total of 34 mice that underwent ICR (CTR n = 9; PRE n = 10; POS n = 9; TOT n = 6) and reached the primary endpoint were included in the analysis. Postoperative TBT supplementation was associated with an increased recolonization and abundance of anaerobic taxa including Bacteroides thetaiotomicorn, Bacteroides caecimuris, Parabacteroides distasonis, and Clostridia. The microbial recolonization of PRE mice was characterized by a bloom of aerotolerant organisms including Staphylococcus, Lactobacillus, Enteroccaceae, and Peptostreptococcacea. PRE mice had a trend towards decreased ileal inflammation as evidenced by decreased levels of IL-1β (p = 0.09), IL-6 (p = 0.03), and TNF-α (p < 0.05) compared with mice receiving TBT postoperatively. In contrast, POS mice had trends towards reduced colonic inflammation demonstrated by decreased levels of IL-6 (p = 0.07) and TNF-α (p = 0.07). These changes occurred in the absence of changes to fecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations or histologic injury scoring. Conclusions: Taken together, the results of our work demonstrate that the timing of tributyrin supplementation differentially modulates gastrointestinal inflammation and gut microbial recolonization following murine ICR. Full article
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Article
Dietary Curdlan Enhances Bifidobacteria and Reduces Intestinal Inflammation in Mice
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1305; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13041305 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
β-glucan consumption is known for its beneficial health effects, but the mode of action is unclear. While humans and mice lack the required enzymes to digest β-glucans, certain intestinal microbes can digest β-glucans, triggering gut microbial changes. Curdlan, a particulate β-glucan isolated from [...] Read more.
β-glucan consumption is known for its beneficial health effects, but the mode of action is unclear. While humans and mice lack the required enzymes to digest β-glucans, certain intestinal microbes can digest β-glucans, triggering gut microbial changes. Curdlan, a particulate β-glucan isolated from Alcaligenes faecalis, is used as a food additive. In this study we determined the effect of curdlan intake in mice on the intestinal microbiota and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced intestinal inflammation. The effect of curdlan on the human intestinal microbiota was assessed using i-screen, an assay for studying anaerobic microbial interactions. Mice received oral gavage with vehicle or curdlan for 14 days followed by DSS for 7 days. The curdlan-fed group showed reduced weight loss and colonic inflammation compared to the vehicle-fed group. Curdlan intake did not induce general microbiota community changes, although a specific Bifidobacterium, closely related to Bifidobacterium choerinum, was observed to be 10- to 100-fold more prevalent in the curdlan-fed group under control and colitis conditions, respectively. When tested in i-screen, curdlan induced a global change in the microbial composition of the healthy intestinal microbiota from a human. Overall, these results suggest that dietary curdlan induces microbiota changes that could reduce intestinal inflammation. Full article
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Article
Effects of a Synbiotic Formula on Functional Bowel Disorders and Gut Microbiota Profile during Long-Term Home Enteral Nutrition (LTHEN): A Pilot Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 87; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13010087 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1515
Abstract
Long-term enteral nutrition (LTEN) can induce gut microbiota (GM) dysbiosis and gastrointestinal related symptoms, such as constipation or diarrhoea. To date, the treatment of constipation is based on the use of laxatives and prebiotics. Only recently have probiotics and synbiotics been considered, the [...] Read more.
Long-term enteral nutrition (LTEN) can induce gut microbiota (GM) dysbiosis and gastrointestinal related symptoms, such as constipation or diarrhoea. To date, the treatment of constipation is based on the use of laxatives and prebiotics. Only recently have probiotics and synbiotics been considered, the latter modulating the GM and regulating intestinal functions. This randomized open-label intervention study evaluated the effects of synbiotic treatment on the GM profile, its functional activity and on intestinal functions in long-term home EN (LTHEN) patients. Twenty LTHEN patients were recruited to take enteral formula plus one sachet/day of synbiotic (intervention group, IG) or enteral formula (control group, CG) for four months and evaluated for constipation, stool consistency, and GM and metabolite profiles. In IG patients, statistically significant reduction of constipation and increase of stool consistency were observed after four months (T1), compared to CG subjects. GM ecology analyses revealed a decrease in the microbial diversity of both IC and CG groups. Biodiversity increased at T1 for 5/11 IG patients and Methanobrevibacter was identified as the biomarker correlated to the richness increase. Moreover, the increase of short chain fatty acids and the reduction of harmful molecules have been correlated to synbiotic administration. Synbiotics improve constipation symptoms and influences Methanobrevibacter growth in LTHEN patients. Full article
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Article
Development and Validation of Surveys to Estimate Food Additive Intake
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 812; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12030812 - 19 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1715
Abstract
(1) Background: The Food Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) International Food Standards Codex Alimentarius CXS 192e International Food Standards (hereafter, CODEX) declares additives non-toxic, but they have been associated with changes to the microbiota changes and thinning of the mucus layer of the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The Food Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) International Food Standards Codex Alimentarius CXS 192e International Food Standards (hereafter, CODEX) declares additives non-toxic, but they have been associated with changes to the microbiota changes and thinning of the mucus layer of the gut. Their widespread use has occurred in parallel with increased inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) incidence. This paper reports on the development and validation of surveys to estimate additive intake. (2) Methods: Dietitians created a food-additive database, with a focus on additives that have been associated with IBD. For each additive, information on the CODEX food-category they are permitted in and the associated maximum permissible levels (mg/kg) was recorded. Based on the database, questions to assess early life (part 1) and recent (part 2) additive intake were written. Forward–backward translation from English to Chinese was undertaken. Thirty-one individuals were evaluated to assess understandability. A further fifty-seven individuals completed the tool on two occasions, a fortnight apart; agreement was assessed using Cohen’s kappa coefficient or the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). (3) Results: The participants reported that it was difficult to remember food intake and estimate portion sizes. The participants also noted confusion around the term ‘home-grown’. Instructions and definitions were added; after this, respondents judged the questionnaires as clear. The average kappa coefficient for part 1 and part 2 questions were 0.61 and 0.67, respectively. The average ICC ranged from 0.30 to 0.94; three food lists were removed due to low reliability. (4) Conclusions: Two tools have been created and validated, in two languages, that reliably assess remote and recent food additive intake. Full article
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