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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355831

Research Project: Developing New Potatoes with Improved Quality, Disease Resistance, and Nutritional Content

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Title: Beneficial effect of potato consumption on gut microbiota and intestinal epithelial health

item BIBI, SHIMA - Washington State University
item Navarre, Duroy - Roy
item SUN, XIAOFEI - Washington State University
item DU, MIN - Washington State University
item RASCO, BARBARA - Washington State University
item ZHU, MEI-JUN - Washington State University

Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2018
Publication Date: 1/5/2019
Citation: Bibi, S., Navarre, D.A., Sun, X., Du, M., Rasco, B., Zhu, M. 2019. Beneficial effect of potato consumption on gut microbiota and intestinal epithelial health. American Journal of Potato Research. 96:170-176.

Interpretive Summary: Healthy foods are of increasing importance to a growing number of consumers. A negative perception of a food can lead to decreased demand. In recent years, the human “microbiome” has been intensively researched internationally and found to have a large effect on human health. Scientists at Washington State University and with the USDA-ARS in Prosser, Washington summarize their findings on the effect of potatoes on the gut microbiome. The work supports a role for potatoes in improving gastrointestinal health and positively influencing the gut microbiome.

Technical Abstract: Diet plays an important role in shaping the gut microbiome, which has been called “a separate organ” due to its profound effects on host health. Potato, being a rich source of phytonutrients including resistant starches, dietary fibers, and polyphenolics, becomes a functional food for improving gut microbiota. Potato phytonutrients and their metabolites contribute to gastrointestinal health either through direct interactions with the epithelium or indirectly through modulating the gut microbiome. Gut microbiota degrade polyphenolics and other phytonutrients, and increase their bioavailability and thus functionally of the complex macronutrients. In addition, these microbial derived metabolites, such as short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), strengthen barrier function via multiple mechanisms. This review discusses the potential role of potato phytonutrients in shaping gut microbiota, strengthening intestinal epithelial barrier function, and thereby improving gastrointestinal health.