Prebiotic effects and intestinal fermentation of cereal arabinoxylans and arabinoxylan oligosaccharides in rats depend strongly on their structural properties and joint presence

Authors

  • Bram Damen,

    1. Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Joran Verspreet,

    1. Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Annick Pollet,

    1. Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Willem F. Broekaert,

    1. Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    2. Fugeia NV, Arenberg Science Park, Leuven, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jan A. Delcour,

    1. Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Christophe M. Courtin

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    • Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, Bus 2463, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium Fax: +32-16-32-19-97
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Scope: Cereal arabinoxylan (AX) is one of the main dietary fibers in a balanced human diet. To gain insight into the importance of structural features of AX for their prebiotic potential and intestinal fermentation properties, a rat trial was performed.

Methods and results: A water unextractable AX-rich preparation (WU-AX, 40% purity), water extractable AX (WE-AX, 81% purity), AX oligosaccharides (AXOS, 79% purity) and combinations thereof were included in a standardized diet at a 5% AX level. WU-AX was only partially fermented in the ceco-colon and increased the level of butyrate and of butyrate producing Roseburia/E. rectale spp. Extensive fermentation of WE-AX and/or AXOS reduced the pH, suppressed relevant markers of the proteolytic breakdown and induced a selective bifidogenic response. Compared with WE-AX, AXOS showed a slightly less pronounced effect in the colon as its fermentation was virtually complete in the cecum. Combining WU-AX and AXOS caused a striking synergistic increase in cecal butyrate levels. WU-AX, WE-AX and AXOS together combined a selective bifidogenic effect in the colon with elevated butyrate levels, a reduced pH and suppressed proteolytic metabolites.

Conclusion: The prebiotic potential and fermentation characteristics of cereal AX depend strongly on their structural properties and joint presence.

Ancillary