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The potential prebiotic properties of arabino-oligosaccharides (AOS) derived from sugar beet pulp was studied using mixed cultures of human fecal bacteria from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), in remission or with active disease, and in healthy controls. These results were compared to those for fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), which are known to have a prebiotic effect. Fermentation studies were carried out using a small-scale static batch system, and changes in the fecal microbial communities and metabolites were monitored after 24 h by quantitative real-time PCR and short-chain fatty acid analysis. With a few minor exceptions, AOS affected the communities similarly to what was seen for FOS. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. were selectively increased after fermentation of AOS or FOS by fecal microbiota derived from UC patients. The stimulation of growth of Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. was accompanied by a high production of acetate and hence a decrease of pH. The fermentation of AOS may help improve the inflammatory conditions in UC patients through stimulation of bacteria eliciting anti-inflammatory responses and through production of acetate. AOS may therefore represent a new prebiotic candidate for reduction of the risk of flare-ups in UC patients. However, human trials are needed to confirm a health-promoting effect.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication date2011
Volume77
Issue23
Pages8336-8344
ISSN0099-2240
DOIs
StatePublished

Bibliographical note

Supplementary materials: http://aem.asm.org.globalproxy.cvt.dk/content/77/23/8336/suppl/DC1

CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 7
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