1. Please check and comment entries here.
Table of Contents

    Topic review

    Fermented Foods and Gut Microbiota

    Submitted by: Tito Fernandes
    (This entry belongs to Entry Collection "Environmental Sciences ")

    Definition

    Fermented foods and beverages are generally defined as products made by microbial organisms and enzymatic conversions of major and minor food components. Further to the commonly-recognized effects of nutrition on the digestive health and well-being, there is now strong evidence for the impact of fermented foods and beverages, produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms, on general health, namely their significance on the gut microbiota balance and brain functionality. 

    1. Microbiota and General Health

    Having an active and natural variety of microorganisms in the gut may improve general health [1]. The good, healthy bacteria make food more digestible through their enzymes, increased vitamin synthesis, and the preservation of nutrients, and also help to reduce sweet cravings, maintain the immune system, and benefit overall gut wellness [2]. The microbiome, consisting of microorganisms and their collective genomes, modulates the host metabolic phenotype, and influences the host immune system. It is now well established that gut bacteria are closely tied to immune health [3]. The gut microbiota regulates l-tryptophan metabolism and identifies the underlying molecular mechanisms of these interactions [4]. A large majority of the immune system resides in the tonsils and gut, so when gut health is imbalanced, it is hard for the body’s immune system to function properly [5]. There are also a number of common factors in modern life that can throw human gut bacteria off, such as processed foods and antibiotics. The use of antibiotics does have several short and long-term implications in the ecology of the normal microbiota and gut motility [6].

    The interactions (Figure 1) between ingested fermented food and intestinal microbiota, and their correlations to metabolomics profiles and health, represent an important perspective, and independent research on health benefits is still emerging [7][8]. Microbiota is specific to each individual, despite the existence of several bacterial species shared by the majority of adults. A diverse and propitious microbial ecosystem (e.g., Bacteroides fragilis, Bifidobacterium spp. and Faecalibacterium spp.) favors homeostasis, particularly at the level of the disease–immune dialogue [9][10].

    Foods 07 00195 g002 550

    Figure 1. Interactions between dynamics of microbiota in humans, animals, and the associated environment with disease occurrence, salubrity, and well-being.

    2. Fermented Foods, Probiotics and Body

    The use of fermentation in conserving food and beverage as a means to provide better taste, improve nutrition and food safety, organically preserve foodstuffs, and promote health properties, is a well-known ancient practice. The reasons for fermenting foods and beverages include improvements of a product’s storage time, safety, functionality, organoleptic quality, and nutritional quality properties [11]. Not only is this process beneficial for extending shelf-life, but also, fermentation can enhance nutritional properties in a safe and effective manner [12].

    Substantial confusion exists between fermented foods and beverages and the probiotic concept. It is important to address the common misconception that fermented foods are the same thing as probiotics [13]. They are not probiotics, although they may contain them, as their live microbial content is undefined. The term “probiotic” was first coined [14] in 1974, and many authors have described the history and the progress of probiotics and their different applications. Ilya Ilyich Metchnikoff, the Nobel Prize winner in Medicine in 1908, was the first who observed the effect of what is called now “probiotic” [15]. FAO/WHO redefined the term “probiotics”, which is now widely accepted as constituting “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” [16]. Different types of bacteria (e.g., Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, Bacillus) and yeast or mold (e.g., Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, Candida) are used as probiotics. Probably, the first real use of food containing probiotics was fermented milk, but today we have to differentiate between probiotics and probiotic-containing foods (e.g., fermented foods) [17]. The scope and appropriate use of the term “probiotic” has been well clarified (Figure 2) [18].

    This entry is adapted from 10.3390/foods7120195

    References

    1. Janakiraman, M.; Krishnamoorthy, G. Emerging Role of Diet and Microbiota Interactions in Neuroinflammation. Front. Immunol. 2018, 9, 2067.
    2. Hashemi, Z.; Fouhse, J.; Im, H.S.; Chan, C.B.; Willing, B.P. Dietary pea fiber supplementation improves glycemia and induces changes in the composition of gut microbiota, serum short-chain fatty acid profile and expression of mucins in glucose intolerant rats. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1236.
    3. Rubio, C.; Schmidt, P.T. Severe Defects in the Macrophage Barrier to Gut Microflora in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Colon Cancer. Anticancer Res. 2018, 38, 3811–3815.
    4. Gao, J.; Xu, K.; Liu, G.; Liu, G.; Bai, M.; Peng, C.; Li, T.; Yin, Y. Impact of the Gut Microbiota on Intestinal Immunity Mediated by Tryptophan Metabolism. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 2018, 8, 13.
    5. Opazo, M.C.; Ortega-Rocha, E.M.; Coronado-Arrázola, I.; Bonifaz, L.C.; Boudin, H.; Neunlist, M.; Bueno, S.M.; Kalergis, A.M.; Riedel, C.A. Intestinal Microbiota Influences Non-intestinal Related Autoimmune Diseases. Front. Microbiol. 2018, 9, 432.
    6. Jandhyala, S.M.; Talukdar, R.; Subramanyam, C.; Vuyyuru, H.; Sasikala, M.; Reddy, D.N. Role of the normal gut microbiota. World J. Gastroenterol. 2015, 21, 8787–8803.
    7. Sánchez, B.; Delgado, S.; Blanco-Míguez, A.; Lourenço, A.; Gueimonde, M.; Margolles, A. Probiotics, gut microbiota, and their influence on host health and disease. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2017, 61.
    8. Singh, R.K.; Chang, H.W.; Yan, D.; Lee, K.M.; Ucmak, D.; Wong, K.; Abrouk, M.; Farahnik, B.; Nakamura, M.; Zhu, T.H.; et al. Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health. J. Transl. Med. 2017, 15, 73.
    9. Howarth, G.S.; Wang, H. Role of endogenous microbiota, probiotics and their biological products in human health. Nutrients 2013, 5, 58–81.
    10. González-Sarrías, A.; Romo-Vaquero, M.; García-Villalba, R.; Cortés-Martín, A.; Selma, M.V.; Espín, J.C. The Endotoxemia Marker Lipopolysaccharide-Binding Protein is Reduced in Overweight-Obese Subjects Consuming Pomegranate Extract by Modulating the Gut Microbiota: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2018, 62, 11.
    11. Hutkins, R.W. Microbiology and Technology of Fermented Foods, 2nd ed.; Hoboken, N.J., Ed.; Wiley-Blackwell: Hoboken, NJ, USA, September 2018; p. 616.
    12. Fridman, W.H.; Zitvogel, L.; Sautes-Fridman, C.; Kroemer, G. The immune contexture in cancer prognosis and treatment. Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol. 2017, 14, 717–734.
    13. Gibson, G.; Hutkins, R.; Sanders, M.E.; Prescott, S.L.; Reimer, R.A.; Salminen, S.J.; Scott, K.; Stanton, C.; Swanson, K.S.; Cani, P.D.; et al. Expert consensus document: The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) consensus statement on the definition and scope of prebiotics. Nat. Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2017, 14, 491–502.
    14. Parker, R.B. Probiotics, the other half of the antibiotic story. Anim. Nutr. Health. 1974, 29, 4–8.
    15. Metchnikoff, I.I. The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic Studies; Springer Publishing Company: New York, NY, USA, 2004.
    16. Reid, G. Probiotics: Definition, scope and mechanisms of action. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Gastroenterol. 2016, 30, 17–25.
    17. Gismondo, M.R.; Drago, L.; Lombardi, A. Review of Probiotics available to modify gastrointestinal flora. Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents 1999, 12, 287–292.
    18. Hill, C.; Guarner, F.; Reid, G.; Gibson, G.R.; Merenstein, D.J.; Pot, B.; Morelli, L.; Canani, R.B.; Flint, H.J.; Salminen, S.; et al. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nat. Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2014, 11, 506–514.
    19. Reid, G.; Sanders, M.E.; Gaskins, H.R.; Gibson, G.R.; Mercenier, A.; Rastall, R.; Roberfroid, M.; Rowland, I.; Cherbut, C.; Klaenhammer, T.R. New scientific paradigms for Probiotics and prebiotics. J. Clin. Gastroenterol. 2003, 37, 105–118.
    20. Brusaferro, A.; Cavalli, E.; Farinelli, E.; Cozzali, R.; Principi, N.; Esposito, S. Gut dysbiosis and paediatric crohn’s disease. J. Infect. 2018.
    21. Bell, V.; Ferrão, J.; Fernandes, T. Nutritional Guidelines and Fermented Food Frameworks. Foods 2017, 6, 65.
    22. Gille, D.; Schmid, A.; Walther, B.; Vergères, G. Fermented Food and Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases: A Review. Nutrients 2018, 10, 448.
    23. British Nutrition Foundation. Available online: (accessed on 11 October 2018).
    24. Rezac, S.; Kok, C.R.; Heermann, M.; Hutkins, R. Fermented Foods as a Dietary Source of Live Organisms. Front. Microbiol. 2018, 9, 1785.
    25. Behravesh, C.B. One Health: People, Animals, and the Environment. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 2016, 22, 766–767.
    26. Rabinowitz, P.M.; Pappaioanou, M.; Bardosh, K.L.; Conti, L. A planetary vision for one health. BMJ Glob. Health 2018, 3, e001137.
    27. Nyatanyi, T.; Wilkes, M.; McDermott, H.; Nzietchueng, S.; Gafarasi, I.; Mudakikwa, A.; Kinani, J.F.; Rukelibuga, J.; Omolo, J.; Mupfasoni, D.; et al. Implementing One Health as an integrated approach to health in Rwanda. BMJ Glob. Health 2017, 2, e000121.
    More