Screening of folate-producing lactic acid bacteria and modulatory effects of folate-biofortified yogurt on gut dysbacteriosis of folate-deficient rats†
Folate deficiency is accompanied by gut dysbacteriosis. To understand dietary intervention in folate deficiency, a folate-deficient rat model was used to evaluate the modulatory effects of folate-producing lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and biofortified yogurt on gut dysbacteriosis. The high folate-producing strain was screened from 12 LABs, and its variant, namely Lactobacillus plantarum GSLP-7 V, with folate productivity in yogurt at 3.72 μg mL−1, was obtained by stressing with 5.0 mg L−1 methotrexate and 100.00 mg L−1 Ca2+. To our knowledge, this is the highest folate productivity in yogurt by LAB strains ever reported. To further examine the folate supplement effect in vivo, a folate-deficient rat model was established and fed a folate-free diet for 8 weeks. Also, the effects of L. plantrum GSLP-7 V, yogurt fermented with L. plantrum GSLP-7 V, plain yogurt, and chemical folic acid on folate deficiency and gut dysbacteriosis were examined. Analysis of the change in gut microbiota showed that the gut dysbacteriosis was significantly correlated with folate deficiency. Administration of L. plantrum GSLP-7 V and its fermented yogurt for 10 days restored the disrupted gut microbiota and recovered the serum folate and homocysteine to normal levels, while chemical folic acid worsened the gut dysbacteriosis. Chemical folic acid only enriched Akkermansia, while L. plantrum GSLP-7 V and its fermented yogurt modulated the gut microbiota comprehensively through 7 and 10 key genera, respectively. This study confirmed the effectiveness of dietary intervention with folate-biofortified yogurt through modulating gut microbiota, suggesting the potential of the folate-producing LAB as an agent for the treatment of folate-deficiency related diseases.