Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) can be used for oral delivery of phenolic compounds in order to protect them from the harsh conditions of digestion and improve their bioavailability in the intestinal epithelium. Recently, the production and characterization of SLNs loaded with rosmarinic acid (RA) and herbal extracts was performed for future use as functional food ingredients. Diet components have been shown to have a huge impact on gut microbiota viability and metabolic activity. Hence, SLNs loaded with RA, sage and savoury extracts have been evaluated for their effect on intestinal microbiota growth and the metabolic products generated. Fermentations in anaerobic batch cultures using volunteer human faeces were performed during 24 h. Dynamic bacterial population changes were analysed using PCR-real time, as well as the generation of fatty acids and the quantification of phenolic compounds by analytical methods. Solid lipid nanoparticles released phenolic compounds at non-inhibitory bacterial growth concentrations. Released herbal extract phenolic compounds showed a beneficial effect on gut microbiota growth (e.g. bifidogenic effects) and were used as substrates. Acetate, formate, lactate and butyrate were produced in higher concentrations. The released phenolic compounds also induced PUFA and trans fatty acids metabolic activity, the production of saturated fatty acids, as well of potential beneficial conjugated linoleic acid isomers. Solid lipid nanoparticles modulate gut microbiota and metabolic activities.