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PKU Talks: The expert’s voice

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“PKU TALKS: THE EXPERT’S VOICE” is the periodical column on Phenylketonuria, created by Piam in collaboration with some of the major international specialists.

Today an interview with Dr. Elvira Verduci, pediatrician of the Buzzi Hospital of Milan, about how the intestinal microbiota of PKU patients is different from that of healthy individuals and how slow-release amino acid mixtures can improve the microbiota of PKU patients.

The composition of human microbiota is linked to health and disease. In what aspects does the gut microbiota of PKU patients differ from that of healthy individuals?

Despite having higher content of vegetables and fruits in their diet, PKU children compared to healthy children showed a lower abundance of some beneficial microbes, in particular Fecalobacterium prausnitzii species and Roseburiagender, both important for the healthy gut. On the other hand, PKU children show a high prevalence of Blautia gende, which is related to proinflammatory effects. 

How could new technologies help, improve or control the composition of the gut microbiota of PKU patients?

The purpose of slow-release formulas is to allow a physiological absorption of the amino acids: this could improve the PKU microbiota composition and so the quality of PKU diet.