Reference Number: 312
Intolerance & Sensitivity: Coeliac
Gluten, a common component in the human diet, is capable of triggering coeliac disease pathogenesis in genetically predisposed individuals. Although the function of human digestive proteases in gluten proteins is quite well known, the role of intestinal microbiota in the metabolism of proteins is frequently underestimated. The aim of this study was the isolation and characterisation of the human gut bacteria involved in the metabolism of gluten proteins. Twenty-two human faecal samples were cultured with gluten as the principal nitrogen source, and 144 strains belonging to 35 bacterial species that may be involved in gluten metabolism in the human gut were isolated. Interestingly, 94 strains were able to metabolise gluten, 61 strains showed an extracellular proteolytic activity against gluten proteins, and several strains showed a peptidasic activity towards the 33-mer peptide, an immunogenic peptide in patients with coeliac disease. Most of the strains were classified within the phyla Firmicutes and Actinobacteria, mainly from the genera Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Clostridium and Bifidobacterium. In conclusion, the human intestine exhibits a large variety of bacteria capable of utilising gluten proteins and peptides as nutrients. These bacteria could have an important role in gluten metabolism and could offer promising new treatment modalities for coeliac disease.
What does this mean for a Baker?
While this study does not offer any practical applications to baking, it is a very interesting study which has allowed the identification of bacteria species which appear to play a big role in the metabolism of gluten. These findings could be used to help people who suffer from coeliac disease as increasing the amounts of these bacteria species in the gut microbiome may help with gluten digestion.