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Effects of taurine on gut microbiota and metabolism in mice

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As being a necessary amino acid, taurine plays an important role in the regulation of neuroendocrine functions and nutrition. In this study, effects of taurine on mice gut microbes and metabolism were investigated. BALB/C mice were randomly divided into three experimental groups: The first group was administered saline (CK), the second was administered 165 mg/kg natural taurine (NE) and the third one administered 165 mg/kg synthetic taurine (CS). Gut microbiota composition in mice feces was analyzed by metagenomics technology, and the content of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) in mice feces was detected by gas chromatography (GC), while the concentrations of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were detected by a LPS ELISA kit and a SOD assay kit, respectively. The results showed that the effect of taurine on gut microbiota could reduce the abundance of Proteobacteria, especially Helicobacter. Moreover, we found that the SCFA content was increased in feces of the NE group while LPS content was decreased in serum of the NE group; the SOD activity in serum and livers of the NE and CS groups were not changed significantly compare to that of the CK group. In conclusion, taurine could regulate the gut micro-ecology, which might be of benefit to health by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, accelerating the production of SCFA and reducing LPS concentration.

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Correspondence to Shengrong Shen.

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All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ethical Committee of Zhejiang University (SYXK(zhe)2012-0178).

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Handling Editor: J. González López.

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Yu, H., Guo, Z., Shen, S. et al. Effects of taurine on gut microbiota and metabolism in mice. Amino Acids 48, 1601–1617 (2016).

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