Protein fermentation results in production of metabolites such as ammonia, amines and indolic, phenolic and sulfur-containing compounds.
After a 2-week run-in period with normal protein intake (NP), 20 healthy subjects followed an isocaloric high protein (HP) and low protein (LP) diet for 2 weeks in a cross-over design. Protein fermentation was estimated from urinary p-cresol excretion. Fecal metabolite profiles were analyzed using GC-MS and compared using cluster analysis. DGGE was used to analyze microbiota composition. Fecal water genotoxicity and cytotoxicity were determined using the Comet assay and the WST-1-assay, respectively, and were related to the metabolite profiles.
Dietary protein intake was significantly higher during the HP diet compared to the NP and LP diet. Urinary p-cresol excretion correlated positively with protein intake. Fecal water cytotoxicity correlated negatively with protein fermentation, while fecal water genotoxicity was not correlated with protein fermentation. Heptanal, 3-methyl-2-butanone, dimethyl disulfide and 2-propenyl ester of acetic acid are associated with genotoxicity and indole, 1-octanol, heptanal, 2,4-dithiapentane, allyl-isothiocyanate, 1-methyl-4-(1-methylethenyl)-benzene, propionic acid, octanoic acid, nonanoic acid and decanoic acid with cytotoxicity.
This study does not support a role of protein fermentation in gut toxicity. The identified metabolites can provide new insight into colonic health.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 20-December-2012
Author(s): Windey K., De Preter V., Louat T., Schuit F., Herman J., Vansant G., Verbeke K.