Prebiotic galactooligosaccharide supplementation in adults with ulcerative colitis: Exploring the impact on peripheral blood gene expression, gut microbiota, and clinical symptoms

Bridgette Wilson, Özge Eyice, Ioannis Koumoutsos, Miranda C. Lomer, Peter M. Irving, James O. Lindsay, Kevin Whelan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prebiotics may promote immune homeostasis and reduce sub-clinical inflammation in humans. This study investigated the effect of prebiotic galactooligosaccharide (GOS) supplementation in colonic inflammation. Seventeen patients with active ulcerative colitis (UC) consumed 2.8 g/d GOS for 6 weeks. At baseline and 6 weeks, gene expression (microarray), fecal calprotectin (ELISA), microbiota (16S rRNA), short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs; gas-liquid chromatography), and clinical outcomes (simple clinical colitis activity index (SCCAI), gastrointestinal symptom rating scale (GSRS), and Bristol stool form scale (BSFS)) were measured. Following prebiotics, clinical scores (SCCAI), fecal calprotectin, SCFAs, and pH were unchanged. Five genes were upregulated and two downregulated. Normal stool proportion (BSFS) increased (49% vs. 70%, p = 0.024), and the incidence (46% vs. 23%, p = 0.016) and severity (0.7 vs. 0.5, p = 0.048) of loose stool (GSRS), along with urgency (SCCAI) scores (1.0 vs. 0.5, p = 0.011), were reduced. In patients with a baseline SCCAI ≤2, prebiotics increased the relative abundance of Bifidobacterium from 1.65% (1.97) to 3.99% (5.37) (p = 0.046) and Christensenellaceae from 0.13% (0.33) to 0.31% (0.76) (p = 0.043). Prebiotics did not lower clinical scores or inflammation but normalized stools. Bifidobacterium and Christensenellaceae proportions only increased in patients with less active diseases, indicating that the prebiotic effect may depend on disease activity. A controlled study is required to validate these observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3598
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number10
Early online date14 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Gene expression
  • Microbiome
  • Microbiota
  • Prebiotics
  • Ulcerative colitis

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