Persistent organic pollutants in foods, their interplay with gut microbiota and resultant toxicity


Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) have become immensely prevalent in the environment as a result of their unique chemical properties (persistent, semi-volatile and bioaccumulative nature). Their occurrence in the soil, water and subsequently in food has become a matter of concern. With food being one of the major sources of exposure, the detrimental impact of these chemicals on the gut microbiome is inevitable. The gut microbiome is considered as an important integrant for human health. It participates in various physiological, biochemical and immunological activities; thus, affects the metabolism and physiology of the host. A myriad of studies have corroborated an association between POP-induced gut microbial dysbiosis and prevalence of disorders. For instance, ingestion of polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers or organochlorine pesticides influenced bile acid metabolism via alteration of bile salt hydrolase activity of Lactobacillus, Clostridium or Bacteroides genus. At the same time, some chemicals such as DDE have the potential to elevate Proteobacteria and Firmicutes/Bacteriodetes ratio influencing their metabolic activity leading to enhanced short-chain fatty acid synthesis, ensuing obesity or a pre-diabetic state. This review highlights the impact of POPs exposure on the gut microbiota composition and metabolic activity, along with an account of its corresponding consequences on the host physiology. The critical role of gut microbiota in impeding the POPs excretion out of the body resulting in their prolonged exposure and consequently, enhanced degree of toxicity is also emphasized.

Authors: Shivani Popli, Prarabdh C Badgujar, Tripti Agarwal, Bharat Bhushan, Vijendra Mishra
; Full Source: The Science of the total environment 2022 Apr 5;155084. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155084.