Effects of high amylose maize starch and Clostridium butyricum on metabolism in colonic microbiota and formation of azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in the rat colon

Microbiol Immunol. 2003;47(12):951-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.2003.tb03469.x.


High amylose maize starch (HAS) is not digested in the small intestine and most of it reaches the large intestine. In the large intestine, HAS is fermented by intestinal bacteria, resulting in production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), particularly butyrate. Clostridium butyricum can utilize HAS and produce butyrate and acetate. It has been proposed that butyrate inhibits carcinogenesis in the colon. In this study, we examined the inhibitory effects of HAS and C. butyricum strain MIYAIRI588 (CBM588) on azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF) formation in rats. In the group of rats administered only CBM588 spores, the concentration of butyrate in the cecum increased, but there was no decrease in the number of ACF. In the group of rats fed an HAS diet, a decrease in the number of ACF was observed, and in the group of rats administered HAS and CBM588, the number of ACF decreased significantly. In these two groups, the concentrations of acetate and propionate in intestinal contents significantly increased, but the concentration of butyrate did not change. It was found that the beta-glucuronidase activity level of colonic contents decreased significantly in the two groups of rats fed HAS. This study showed that HAS and CBM588 changed the metabolism of colonic microbiota and decreased the level of beta-glucuronidase activity, phenomena that may play a role in the inhibition of ACF formation in the rat colon.

MeSH terms

  • Amylose / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Azoxymethane / toxicity*
  • Body Weight
  • Butyrates / analysis
  • Butyrates / metabolism*
  • Butyrates / pharmacology
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Clostridium / physiology*
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / microbiology*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fermentation
  • Glucuronidase / metabolism
  • Lactates / metabolism
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Precancerous Conditions / chemically induced
  • Precancerous Conditions / prevention & control*
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Spores, Bacterial
  • Starch / administration & dosage*
  • Starch / chemistry
  • Starch / metabolism
  • Succinates / metabolism
  • Zea mays / chemistry


  • Butyrates
  • Carcinogens
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Fatty Acids
  • Lactates
  • Succinates
  • Starch
  • Amylose
  • Glucuronidase
  • Azoxymethane