Butyrate from bacterial fermentation of germinated barley foodstuff preserves intestinal barrier function in experimental colitis in the rat model

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1999 Sep;14(9):880-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1746.1999.01971.x.


Background and aims: The consumption of germinated barley foodstuff (GBF) prevents inflammation and diarrhoea in a colitis model. In this study we investigated the mechanism of the preventative effect of GBF on experimental colitis in rats, in view of production of bacterial butyrate and preservation of intestinal barrier function.

Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats administered with diets supplemented with 3.5% dextran sodium sulphate were used as an experimental colitis model. Butyrate was given to rats orally or intracaecally. Intestinal barrier function was estimated by light microscopic observation of the mucosa, intestinal permeability and bacterial translocation.

Results: Mucosal damage was reduced by intracaecal administration of butyrate, but not by oral administration. Bacterial butyrate production and reduction of mucosal damage depended on the dose of GBF in diets. The action of endogenous bacterial butyrate, including the reduction of intestinal permeability and bacterial translocation, was inhibited by administration of an inhibitor of beta-oxidation of short-chain fatty acids.

Conclusions: The feeding of GBF promotes bacterial butyrate production and improves intestinal barrier function in rats, resulting in mitigation of experimental colitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Butyrates / metabolism*
  • Butyrates / pharmacology*
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / metabolism*
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterobacteriaceae / metabolism
  • Fermentation*
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Hordeum*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Permeability / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Butyrates
  • Dextran Sulfate