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    A diet with a high dietary fiber content is often recommended in today's nutrition due to several beneficial health effects related to its intake. Lignin as a part of dietary fiber is the second most abundant natural polymer and considered to be stable during digestion. However, some studies indicate a partial degradation during the intestinal metabolism. To further elucidate this hypothesis, the aim of this study was to investigate whether lignin is metabolized by the gut microbiota using the ex vivo pig cecum model. As potential lignin-derived metabolites might already naturally occur in the pig cecal matrix, an approach using isotopically labeled 13C lignin was chosen for this study. Ten small phenolic lignin degradation products and their time-dependent metabolism were identified via an untargeted HPLC-HRMS approach, and the quantity of the metabolites was estimated. From the results, we conclude that lignin is partially degraded releasing small phenolic metabolites.


    Matthias Kasimir, Matthias Behrens, Hans-Ulrich Humpf. Release of Small Phenolic Metabolites from Isotopically Labeled 13C Lignin in the Pig Cecum Model. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2022 Jul 13;70(27):8317-8325

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    PMID: 35770971

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