Dietary Fiber, Gut Microbiota and Markers of Inflammation
It is widely accepted that the gut microbiome plays a pivotal role in modulating inflammatory and immune responses of their host. In recent years, the host-microbiome interface has gained relevance in the understanding of the development of many non-communicable chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegeneration. Importantly, dietary fibre and associated compounds digested by the microbiota and their resulting metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), represent a major mechanism for the associated health beneficial effects. However, their metabolic pathway is not fully understood. Major steps include production of SCFA by microbiota, uptake in the colonic epithelium, further transport and absorption, first-pass effects exerted by the liver, followed by further biodistribution and interactions on the cellular level of the host. As it is known that dietary interventions do not affect all individuals equally, it is plausible that host-genetic makeup may play a role in the metabolic pathway of these metabolites.
Such interindividual variability may be indicative of the phenotypic flexibility found in response to diet, and may also be predictive of long-term adaptations to dietary factors, including maladaptation and tissue damage, which may develop into disease in predisposed individuals.