About this Research Topic
Polysaccharides are widely present in nature, such as dietary fibers and starch. Natural polysaccharides have been a topic of growing attention in the field of food and medicine over the past decades. Previous studies reported that some natural polysaccharides possess multiple health benefits, such as antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. Based on these encouraging observations, a lot of efforts have been focused on discovering natural polysaccharides for the development of functional foods and nutraceuticals.
Gut microbiota plays a critical role in regulating the health benefits of natural polysaccharides, while the interaction between natural polysaccharides and gut microbiota remains not very clear. Increasing evidence proves that gut microbiota can produce profitable metabolites via degrading and utilizing natural polysaccharides, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are beneficial to the host physiology and energy homeostasis. On the other hand, natural polysaccharides can influence the composition and abundance of gut microbiota. Despite this, our knowledge of the interaction between natural polysaccharides and gut microbiota is still poor.
This Research Topic aims to focus on the interaction between natural polysaccharides and gut microbiota, mainly including how natural polysaccharides regulate the gut microbiota community and further influence health, as well as how gut microbiota metabolizes natural polysaccharides. Understanding these basic scientific questions can help develop natural polysaccharide-based functional foods, such as prebiotics, to prevent and treat gut microbiota-related diseases.
We invite authors to submit Original Research Articles, Perspectives, and Review Articles that focus on but are not limited to the following topics:
• Extraction, purification, identification, characterization, and modification of polysaccharides and their potential to regulate gut microbiota and improve intestinal health.
• The metabolism characteristics of natural polysaccharides by gut microbiota, and separation and identification of specific gut microbiota with the potential as probiotics.
• Understanding the mechanisms of action of natural polysaccharides on health and diseases, at least partly via the regulation of gut microbiota.
• Developments of fermented functional foods or nutraceuticals with natural polysaccharides as main raw materials, which can regulate gut microbiota or improve intestinal function.
Keywords: Polysaccharides; Structural characterization; Gut microbiota; Gut health; Chronic diseases; Functional foods
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.