Dietary sources of methylamines such as choline, trimethylamine (TMA), trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), phosphatidylcholine (PC) and carnitine are present in a number of foodstuffs, including meat, fish, nuts and eggs. It is recognized that the gut microbiota is able to convert choline to TMA in a fermentation-like process. Similarly, PC and carnitine are converted to TMA by the gut microbiota. It has been suggested that TMAO is subject to ‘metabolic retroversion’ in the gut (i.e. it is reduced to TMA by the gut microbiota, with this TMA being oxidized to produce TMAO in the liver). Sixty-six strains of human faecal and caecal bacteria were screened on solid and liquid media for their ability to utilize trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), with metabolites in spent media profiled by Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy. Enterobacteriaceae produced mostly TMA from TMAO, with caecal/small intestinal isolates of Escherichia coli producing more TMA than their faecal counterparts. Lactic acid bacteria (enterococci, streptococci, bifidobacteria) produced increased amounts of lactate when grown in the presence of TMAO, but did not produce large amounts of TMA from TMAO. The presence of TMAO in media increased the growth rate of Enterobacteriaceae; while it did not affect the growth rate of lactic acid bacteria, TMAO increased the biomass of these bacteria. The positive influence of TMAO on Enterobacteriaceae was confirmed in anaerobic, stirred, pH-controlled batch culture fermentation systems inoculated with human faeces, where this was the only bacterial population whose growth was significantly stimulated by the presence of TMAO in the medium. We hypothesize that dietary TMAO is used as an alternative electron acceptor by the gut microbiota in the small intestine/proximal colon, and contributes to microbial population dynamics upon its utilization and retroversion to TMA, prior to absorption and secondary conversion to TMAO by hepatic flavin-containing monooxygenases. Our findings support the idea that oral TMAO supplementation is a physiologically-stable microbiota-mediated strategy to deliver TMA at the gut barrier.