Glycolate is a Novel Marker of Vitamin B2 Deficiency Involved in Gut Microbe Metabolism in Mice
Microbes in the human gut play a role in the production of bioactive compounds, including some vitamins. Although several studies attempted to identify definitive markers for certain vitamin deficiencies, the role of gut microbiota in these deficiencies is unclear. To investigate the role of gut microbiota in deficiencies of four vitamins, B2, B6, folate, and B12, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of metabolites in mice treated and untreated with antibiotics. We identified glycolate (GA) as a novel marker of vitamin B2 (VB2) deficiency, and show that gut microbiota sense dietary VB2 deficiency and accumulate GA in response. The plasma GA concentration responded to reduced VB2 supply from both the gut microbiota and the diet. These results suggest that GA is a novel marker that can be used to assess whether or not the net supply of VB2 from dietary sources and gut microbiota is sufficient. We also found that gut microbiota can provide short-term compensation for host VB2 deficiency when dietary VB2 is withheld.
Nutrients 12 (3), 736-, 2020-03-11