Publication Date

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Committee Members

Weiwen Long (Committee Member), Oleg Paliy (Advisor), Nicholas Reo (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Abstract

Microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract have a variety of functions within the human body. They participate in protection of the host from pathogens, aid in immune system development and regulation, and carry out a variety of metabolic functions. This study focuses on the ability of gut microbiota to create metabolites through the degradation of food products. Using 1H NMR on fecal water extracts, I compared the metabolite profiles of two geographically distinct cohorts: healthy adolescents from Egypt (n=28) and healthy adolescents from the United States (n=14). Multivariate statistical analyses of binned NMR data confirmed that samples separated into groups corresponding to sample class. Quantification of metabolites revealed several metabolites that differed between groups. For example, levels of short chain fatty acids were higher in the Egyptian adolescents and most quantified amino acids were higher in the US adolescents. Multivariate statistical analyses of the quantified metabolite data showed separation based on the variability within the samples and placed samples into the correct class. Therefore, I concluded that fecal metabolite profiles differ between Egyptian and United States adolescents, and that these differences in metabolite levels may be linked to dietary differences between these two studied cohorts.

Page Count

68

Department or Program

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


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