Beneficial Effect of Potato Consumption on Gut Microbiota and Intestinal Epithelial Health

Abstract

Diet plays an important role in shaping the gut microbiota, which has been called “a separate organ” due to its profound effects on host health. Potato, being a rich source of phytonutrients and bioactive food components, becomes a functional food for improving gut microbiota and gut health. Potato phytonutrients and bioactive food components contribute to gastrointestinal health through direct interactions with the epithelium or indirectly through modulation of the gut microbiota, and microbially derived metabolites, such as short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). In addition, gut microbiota degrade polyphenols and phytonutrients, and increase their bioavailability and thus the functionality of complex macronutrients. This review discusses the potential role of potato in shaping gut microbiota, strengthening intestinal epithelial barrier function, and thereby improving gastrointestinal health.

Resumen

La dieta juega un papel importante en la conformación de la microbiota intestinal, a la que se le ha llamado “un órgano separado”, debido a sus profundos efectos en la salud del hospedante. La papa, siendo una fuente rica de fitonutrientes y de componentes alimenticios bioactivos, se convierte en un alimento funcional para el mejoramiento de la microbiota del intestino y su salud. Los fitonutrientes de la papa y los componentes alimenticios bioactivos, contribuyen a la salud gastrointestinal a través de interacciones directas con el epitelio, o indirectamente por vía de la modulación de la microbiota intestinal y metabolitos derivados microbialmente, tales como ácidos grasos de cadena corta (SCFAs). Además, la microbiota intestinal degrada polifenoles y fitonutrientes, y aumenta su biodisponibilidad, y en consecuencia, la funcionalidad de macronutrientes complejos. Esta revisión discute el papel potencial de la papa en la conformación de la microbiota intestinal, reforzando la función de barrera epitelial intestinal, y por ende, mejorando la salud gastrointestinal.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) (2018-67017-27517), Northwest Potato Research Consortium and Washington State University Agricultural Research Center Emerging Research Issues Competitive Grant.

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Correspondence to Mei-Jun Zhu.

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Bibi, S., Navarre, D.A., Sun, X. et al. Beneficial Effect of Potato Consumption on Gut Microbiota and Intestinal Epithelial Health. Am. J. Potato Res. 96, 170–176 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12230-018-09706-3

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Keywords

  • Gut microbiota
  • Intestinal health
  • Phytochemicals
  • Potato
  • Short chain fatty acids