Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Robert E. Ward


Robert E. Ward


Korry J. Hintze


Michael Lefevre


The composition and metabolic activity of the microbiome affect many aspects of health, and there is current interest in dietary constituents that may affect this system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a mix of probiotics, a mix of prebiotics and a bioactive protein fraction on the microbiome, when fed to mice individually and in combination. Mice were fed the total western diet (TWD) supplemented with prebiotics, probiotics, and Tri-Factor (bioactive proteins) individually and in combination for four weeks. Subsequently, effects on the composition of gut microbiome, gut short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) concentration, gut inflammation and integrity of the mucosal barrier were analyzed. Ruminococcus gnavus was increased in mice gut microbiome after feeding prebiotics. Bifidobacterium longum was increased after feeding probiotics. Probiotic was associated with higher level of Clostridium neonatale. The treatments affected beta-diversity with exception of Tri-Factor, but not alpha diversity of microbiome. All treatments were associated with lower plasma zonulin, compared to the control group, indicating an effect on gut permeability. There were no treatment effects on cecal or fecal SCFAs, and the treatments did not affect gut inflammation as measured by fecal calprotectin.



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