Inulin-type fructans modulate gastrointestinal peptides involved in appetite regulation (glucagon-like peptide-1 and ghrelin) in rats

Br J Nutr. 2004 Sep;92(3):521-6. doi: 10.1079/bjn20041225.


The hypothesis tested in the present study is that dietary fructans are able to modulate gastrointestinal peptides involved in the control of food intake, namely glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 (7-36) amide and ghrelin. After 3 weeks of treatment with a standard diet (control) or the same diet enriched with 100 g fructans varying in their degrees of polymerization (oligofructose (OFS), Synergy 1 (Syn) or long chain inulin)/kg, male Wistar rats were deprived of food for 8 h before sample collection. Dietary energy intake throughout the experiment was significantly lower (P<0.05) in fructans-fed rats than in control rats, leading to a significant decrease (P<0.01) in epidydimal fat mass at the end of the treatment in OFS- and Syn-treated rats. GLP-1 (7-36) amide concentration in portal vein serum was higher in OFS- and Syn-fed than in control rats. Both GLP-1 (7-36) amide concentration and proglucagon mRNA concentrations were significantly greater (P<0.05) in the proximal colonic mucosa of fructans-fed rats v. controls. Normally active ghrelin concentration in plasma increases during food deprivation and rapidly falls during a meal. In the present study, after 8 h of food deprivation, active ghrelin in the plasma remained significantly lower (P<0.05) in OFS and Syn-fed than in control rats. These results are in accordance with the modifications of dietary intake and fat-mass development in short-chain fructans-treated rats and demonstrate the potential modulation of GLP-1 (7-36) amide and ghrelin by fermentable fibres such as fructans, which are rapidly and extensively fermented in the proximal part of the colon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetite Regulation / physiology*
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Eating / physiology
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Ghrelin
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • Inulin / administration & dosage*
  • Inulin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Peptide Fragments / physiology*
  • Peptide Hormones / analysis
  • Peptide Hormones / physiology*
  • Proglucagon
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Weight Gain / physiology


  • Ghrelin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Protein Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • glucagon-like peptide 1 (7-36)amide
  • Proglucagon
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Inulin
  • Glucagon