Spirulina platensis biomass enhances the proliferation rate of Lactobacillus acidophilus 5 (La-5) and combined with La-5 impact the gut microbiota of medium-age healthy individuals through an in vitro gut microbiome model
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This study first evaluated the stimulatory effect of S. platensis biomass on the growth of L. acidophilus and the metabolic activity during fermentation (37 °C, 72 h) in a culture medium. The results demonstrated a higher impact of S. platensis biomass than fructooligosaccharide (FOS), an established prebiotic. Higher L. acidophilus proliferation rates and metabolic activity were observed (lower pH values and higher concentrations of acetic, lactic, and propionic acids) in the presence of S. platensis. Then, we evaluated the effects of the S. platensis biomass (1.5 g, twice a day, 5 days) in association with L. acidophilus (106 CFU/g) on the gut microbiota composition of medium-age healthy individuals through the Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME®) and measurement of metabolites. L. acidophilus (La5) and L. acidophilus + S. platensis (Spi-La5) could positively modulate the intestinal microbiota. The administration of La5 resulted in increases in Bacteroides, Megasphaera, Lactobacillus, and Parabacteroides genus abundance, with a consequent decrease in ammonium ions. The administration of Spi-La5 increased the abundance of the genus Erysipelatoclostridium, Roseburia, Enterococcus, Bifidobacterium, Coriobacteriaceae UCG-003, Enterobacter, and Paraclostridium. The results demonstrate that the intestinal microbiota was differently modified by administrating La5 and Spi-La5 and indicate the latter as an alternative for microbiota positive modulation in healthy individuals.