Germinated barley foodstuff, a prebiotic product, ameliorates inflammation of colitis through modulation of the enteric environment

J Gastroenterol. 2003;38(2):134-41. doi: 10.1007/s005350300022.


Background: Germinated barley foodstuff (GBF), which contains glutamine-rich protein and hemicellulose-rich fiber, exhibits therapeutic effects in ulcerative colitis; however, its mechanism is still under investigation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of GBF on colitis in terms of the epithelial inflammatory response.

Methods: Mice with dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis were used. The effects of GBF on the colitis were evaluated by measuring the body weight; disease activity; mucosal damage (histology, mucosal inflammatory parameters, nuclear factor kappa B [NFkB] activation, and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 [STAT3]); serum interleukin 6 (IL-6) level; cecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs); and bile acid contents.

Results: GBF significantly prevented disease activity and body weight loss after induction of colitis. Serum IL-6 level and mucosal STAT3 expression were also significantly attenuated, with a conspicuous reduction of mucosal damage; NFkB activity showed the same tendency. Cecal butyrate content was significantly higher and, interestingly, GBF mice had lower bile acid concentrations than the control group.

Conclusions: GBF has the potential to reduce the epithelial inflammatory response by depressing STAT-3 expression and inhibiting NFkB binding activity. These effects may be brought about by an increase of butyrate production and adsorption of bile acids.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Butyrates / metabolism
  • Colitis / diet therapy*
  • Colitis / pathology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • Female
  • Germination
  • Hordeum*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Intestinal Mucosa / chemistry
  • Intestine, Small / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • NF-kappa B / analysis
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Trans-Activators / analysis


  • Butyrates
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Preparations
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Stat3 protein, mouse
  • Trans-Activators