Concentrated raw fibers enhance the fiber‐degrading capacity of a synthetic human gut microbiome

Alex Steimle, Mareike Neumann (Main author), Erica Grant, Jonathan D. Turner, Mahesh S. Desai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The consumption of prebiotic fibers to modulate the human gut microbiome is a promising strategy to positively impact health. Nevertheless, given the compositional complexity of the microbiome and its inter‐individual variances, generalized recommendations on the source or amount of fiber supplements remain vague. This problem is further compounded by availability of tractable in vitro and in vivo models to validate certain fibers. We employed a gnotobiotic mouse model containing a 14‐member synthetic human gut microbiome (SM) in vivo, characterized a priori for their ability to metabolize a collection of fibers in vitro. This SM contains 14 different strains belonging to five distinct phyla. Since soluble purified fibers have been a common subject of studies, we specifically investigated the effects of dietary concentrated raw fibers (CRFs)—containing fibers from pea, oat, psyllium, wheat and apple—on the compositional and functional alterations in the SM. We demonstrate that, compared to a fiber‐free diet, CRF supplementation increased the abundance of fiber‐degraders, namely Eubacterium rectale, Roseburia intestinalis and Bacteroides ovatus and decreased the abundance of the mucin‐degrader Akkermansia muciniphila. These results were cor-roborated by a general increase of bacterial fiber‐degrading α‐glucosidase enzyme activity. Overall, our results highlight the ability of CRFs to enhance the microbial fiber‐degrading capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6855
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2021


  • Diet
  • Dietary supplementation
  • Fiber
  • Manipulation
  • Microbiome
  • Microbiota
  • Nutrition
  • Prebiotic


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