The effect of calcium palmitate on bacteria associated with infant gut microbiota

Lu Wang, Gabriela Bravo-Ruiseco, Randolph Happe, Tao He, Jan Maarten van Dijl, Hermie J M Harmsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Gut microbiota development in formula-fed and breast-fed infants is known to differ. This could relate to the usage of unmodified vegetable oil instead of mammalian fat in infant formula (IF), causing the enhanced formation of the poorly soluble soap calcium palmitate (CP) in the infant's gut. Here we investigate in vitro the possible influence of CP on the infant gut bacteria. The growth of several bacterial species dominant in the infant's gut was analyzed by culturing in media with CP. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii as a sensitive representative was analyzed in detail by scanning transmission electron microscopy, membrane staining, gas chromatography, and microbial fuel cell experiments. Of all bacteria tested, the growth of several bifidobacteria and F. prausnitzii was reduced at 0.01 mg/ml CP, Bifidobacterium infantis stopped growing completely. CP reduced the cell envelope thickness of F. prausnitzii, disturbed the cell membrane fatty acids and function of membrane proteins involved in electron transport. CP inhibited the growth of bifidobacteria and faecalibacteria. This suggests that modification of fat in IF may benefit the development of the gut microbiota in formula-fed infants by supporting the colonization of important beneficial bacteria in early life. Future clinical studies are needed to confirm this.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1187
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobiologyOpen
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2021

Keywords

  • calcium palmitate
  • cell structure
  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii
  • gut microbiota
  • infant nutrition
  • FORMULA-FED INFANTS
  • HIGH SN-2 PALMITATE
  • FAECALIBACTERIUM-PRAUSNITZII
  • INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA
  • TERM INFANTS
  • DOUBLE-BLIND
  • ACID
  • OLIGOFRUCTOSE
  • SOAPS
  • MILK

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