• Metabolic phenotyping of the human microbiome

      Barton, Wiley; O'Sullivan, Orla; Cotter, Paul D.; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; SFI/12/RC/2273; 11/PI/1137; 13/SIRG/2160; 16/RC/3835 (F1000 Research, 2019-11-19)
      The human microbiome has been identified as having a key role in health and numerous diseases. Trillions of microbial cells and viral particles comprise the microbiome, each representing modifiable working elements of an intricate bioactive ecosystem. The significance of the human microbiome as it relates to human biology has progressed through culture-dependent (for example, media-based methods) and, more recently, molecular (for example, genetic sequencing and metabolomic analysis) techniques. The latter have become increasingly popular and evolved from being used for taxonomic identification of microbiota to elucidation of functional capacity (sequencing) and metabolic activity (metabolomics). This review summarises key elements of the human microbiome and its metabolic capabilities within the context of health and disease.
    • Protein quality and quantity influence the effect of dietary fat on weight gain and tissue partitioning via host-microbiota changes

      Nychyk, Oleksandr; Barton, Wiley; Rudolf, Agata M.; Boscaini, Serena; Walsh, Aaron; Bastiaanssen, Thomaz F.S.; Giblin, Linda; Cormican, Paul; Chen, Liang; Piotrowicz, Yolanda; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2021-05-11)
      We investigated how protein quantity (10%–30%) and quality (casein and whey) interact with dietary fat (20%–55%) to affect metabolic health in adult mice. Although dietary fat was the main driver of body weight gain and individual tissue weight, high (30%) casein intake accentuated and high whey intake reduced the negative metabolic aspects of high fat. Jejunum and liver transcriptomics revealed increased intestinal permeability, low-grade inflammation, altered lipid metabolism, and liver dysfunction in casein-fed but not whey-fed animals. These differential effects were accompanied by altered gut size and microbial functions related to amino acid degradation and lipid metabolism. Fecal microbiota transfer confirmed that the casein microbiota increases and the whey microbiota impedes weight gain. These data show that the effects of dietary fat on weight gain and tissue partitioning are further influenced by the quantity and quality of the associated protein, primarily via effects on the microbiota.