Human health is influenced by dietary habits. Gut microorganisms play crucial roles in the dialog between dietary components and host cells since they convert a variety of indigestible food stuff and produce important metabolites such as short chain fatty acids and vitamins. In this context, we investigate the interactions between dietary components and the mammalian gut microbiome.

We showed for instance that a high-fat diet has a major impact on gut microbial communities that extends beyond compositional changes to major alterations in bacterial physiology and metabolite landscape. We also assessed the effects of dietary fat on host physiology (e.g. barrier function) and the development of metabolic disorders.

Moreover, dietary phytoestrogens, including flavonoids and lignans, are proposed to influence human health. Since intestinal bacteria play a major role in phytoestrogen conversion, for instance by producing the metabolite equol and the enterolignans enterodiol and enterolactone, bacteriological work is important in the field of phytoestrogen bioavailability. We have isolated and described several phytoestrogen-converting bacteria and analysed their importance with respect to bioavailability and health effects.

PhD Thesis
Lignans & gut bacteria
Metabolism of the dietary lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside by human intestinal bacteria

Thomas Clavel
ISBN 978-3-8325-1192-0
75 pages, year of publication: 2006



Kübeck, Bonet-Ripolla, Hoffmann, Walker, Müller, Schüppel, Lagkouvardos, Scholz, Engel, Daniel, Schmitt-Kopplin, Haller, Clavel, Klingenspor (2016) Dietary fat type and gut microbiota interactions alter diet-induced obesity in mice. Mol Metabol in press.

Schwerd T, Frivolt K, Clavel T, Lagkouvardos I, Katona G, Mayr D, Uhlig HH, Haller D, Koletzko S, Bufler P (2015) Exclusive enteral nutrition remodels immune system and intestinal microbiota. J Allergy Clin Immunol 138:592.

Müller VM, Zietek T, Rohm F, Fiamoncini J, Lagkouvardos I, Haller D, Clavel T, Daniel H (2015) Gut barrier impairment by high-fat diet in mice depends on housing conditions. Mol Nutr Food Res, in press.

Lagkouvardos I, Kläring K, Heinzmann S, Platz S, Scholz S, Engel K-H, Schmitt-Kopplin P, Haller D, Rohn S, Skurk T, Clavel T (2015) Gut metabolites and bacterial community networks during a pilot intervention study with flaxseeds in healthy adult men, Mol Nutr Food Res.

Fasolino I, Izzo A, Clavel T, Romano R, Haller D, Borrelli F (2015) Orally administered allyl sulfides from garlic ameliorate murine colitis, Mol Nutr Food Res, 59:434.

Würth R, Lagkouvardos I, Clavel T, Wilkea J, Foerst P, Kulozik U, Haller D, Hörmannsperger G (2015) Physiological relevance of food grade microcapsules: Impact of milk protein based microcapsules on inflammation in mouse models for inflammatory bowel diseases, Mol Nutr Food Res.

Clavel T, Mapesa JO (2013) Phenolics in human nutrition: importance of the intestinal microbiome for isoflavone and lignan bioavailability, In Handbook of Natural Products, KG Ramawat, JM Merillon (Eds), Elsevier.

Mapesa JO, Waldschmitt N, Schmoeller I, Blume C, Hofmann T, Mahungu S, Clavel T, Haller D (2011) Catechols in caffeic phenetyl ester are essential for inhibition of TNF-mediated IP-10 expression through NF-kB-dependent but HO-1- and p38-independent mechanisms in mouse intestinal epithelial cells. Mol Nutr Food Res 55:1850.

Woting A, Clavel T, Loh G, Blaut M (2010) Bacterial transformation of dietary lignans in gnotobiotic rats. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 72:507.

Matthies A,* Clavel T,* Gütschow M, Engst W, Haller D, Blaut M, Braune A (2008) Conversion of daidzein and genistein by an anaerobic bacterium newly isolated from the mouse intestine. Appl Environ Microbiol 74:4847.

Clavel T, Lippman R, Gavini F, Doré J, Blaut M (2007) Clostridium saccharogumia sp. nov. and Lactonifactor longoviformis gen. nov., sp. nov., two novel human faecal bacteria involved in the conversion of the dietary phytoestrogen secoisolariciresinol diglucoside. Syst Appl Microbiol 30:16.

Clavel T, Doré J, Blaut M (2006) Bioavailability of lignans in human subjects. Nutr Res Rev 19:187.

Clavel T, Borrmann D, Braune A, Doré J, Blaut M (2006) Occurrence and activity of human intestinal bacteria involved in the conversion of dietary lignans. Anaerobe 12:140.

Clavel T, Henderson G, Engst W, Doré J, Blaut M (2006) Phylogeny of human intestinal bacteria that activate the dietary lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 55:471.

Clavel T, Fallani M, Lepage P, Levenez F, Mathey J, Rochet V, Sérézat M, Sutren M, Henderson G, Bennetau-Pelissero C, Tondu F, Blaut M, Doré J, Coxam V (2005) Isoflavones and functional foods alter the dominant intestinal microbiota in postmenopausal women. J Nutr 135:2786.

Clavel T, Henderson G, Alpert CA, Philippe C, Rigottier-Gois L, Doré J, Blaut M (2005) Intestinal bacterial communities that produce active estrogen-like compounds enterodiol and enterolactone in humans. Appl Environ Microbiol 71:6077.