Study supports BeniCaros’s potential to strengthen healthy gut microbiota

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Martina Rigoli / Getty Images
© Martina Rigoli / Getty Images

Related tags upcycled foods Upcycling Prebiotic rhamnogalacturonan microbiome microbiota

The upcycled carrot-derived ingredient BeniCaros may produce consistent, significant, and beneficial effects on the gut microbiota, says a new study that supports the ingredient’s prebiotic potential.

The improvements to the gut microbiota were observed regardless of differences in individual microbiota composition, according to data published in Nutrients​.

Scientists from Belgium and The Netherlands report that the carrot-derived ingredient significantly enhanced production of beneficial short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) acetate and propionate compared to inulin. BeniCaros was also associated with less gas production.

BeniCaros is composed of plant-based rhamnogalacturonan-I (cRG-I) polysaccharides extracted from carrot pomace.

“cRG-I could thus result in overall more robust beneficial effects, while also being better tolerated,” wrote scientists from Cryptobiotix and Nutrileads.

“Moreover, owing to its remarkable homogenization effect on microbial composition and metabolite production, cRG-I could lead to more predictable outcomes compared to substrates that are less specific or overly specific.”

The ingredient

As reported previously by NutraIngredients-USA​, RG-I may modulate immunity measures and the microbiota in vitro​. Additional data from a proof-of-concept trial in humans showed that RG-I was well tolerated and enhanced innate immune responsiveness.

Subsequent data published in Microorganisms ​(2021, doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9102142​) indicated that the carrot-derived RG-1 may also possess prebiotic potential.

And earlier this year, results from a controlled, randomized, double-blind dose-response study of RG-1 on early innate immune and anti-viral responses following a standardized an attenuated rhinovirus (rhinovirus strain 16, RV16).

Data published in Nutrients​ revealed that daily consumption of BeniCaros prior to the rhinovirus infection significantly accelerated protective innate immune and antiviral responses, resulting in a 20% reduction in severity of symptoms, and a 25% reduction in symptom duration.

Ex vivo ​data

The new study, which utilized the high throughput of Cryptobiotix’s ex vivo​ SIFR technology, compared the gut microbiota modulation of the carrot-derived rhamnogalacturonan I (0.3 or 1.5 grams per day human equivalent dose (HED)) to inulin (1.5 g/day HED) and xanthan (1.5 g/day HED).

This SIFR technology enabled analysis of 24 individuals compared with conventional microbiota study methodologies that involve few subjects, noted the researchers.

The results indicated that BeniCaros significantly increased a broad spectrum of 30 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to Bifidobacteriaceae​ (2), Bacteroidaceae​ (4), Acidaminococcaceae​ (1), unclassified Clostridiales​ (1), Lachnospiraceae​ (18), Ruminococcaceae​ (3), and Veillonellaceae​ (1), including OTUs of health-related species such as Bifidobacterium longum, B. adolescentis​, Anaerobutyricum hallii​ and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii​. 

In addition, the carrot-derived ingredient was reported to selectively stimulate taxa or species of bacteria that were consistently present among the human subjects, resulting in significantly lower microbiota composition differences between subjects.

This homogenizing effect of cRG-I on the gut microbiota was found to be dose-dependent. On the other hand, both inulin and xanthan increased interpersonal differences. 

“The goldilocks principle applies to BeniCaros,”​ said Ruud Albers, Ph.D., NutriLeads cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer. “Its structure is not so simple that it can be fermented by multiple bacterial strains in the gut, nor is it so complex that it can only be used by few microbial communities. RG-I’s specificity is just right.”

The data also showed that, while all three compounds significantly increased production of acetate, propionate, and butyrate, BeniCaros led to higher and more inter-individual consistent levels of SCFA than the other fibers.

“It is remarkable that a small serving of only 300 milligrams of BeniCaros can display such consistent prebiotic effects despite the fact that composition of gut microbiota is unique to every individual,” said Annick Mercenier​, Ph.D., NutriLeads co-founder and Senior Director R&D.

“Variability in the gut microbial communities in individuals renders it challenging to demonstrate efficacy of functional ingredients. The high consistency effect of BeniCaros on microbial composition and metabolite production could support more predictable health benefits.”

Commenting on the science, Joana Carneiro, PhD, NutriLeads Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our research clearly demonstrates the game-changing potential of BeniCaros. Its superior ability to consistently and beneficially modulate the gut microbiota enables product differentiation and BeniCaros’ very small serving size opens the door to innovation in functional foods, beverages and supplements.”

Source: Nutrients
2023, 15​(9), 2090; doi: 10.3390/nu15092090
“Carrot RG-I Reduces Interindividual Differences between 24 Adults through Consistent Effects on Gut Microbiota Composition and Function ​Ex Vivo
Authors: P. Van den Abbeele et al.

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