Objective: The enteric microbiota is a pivotal factor in the development of intestinal inflammation in humans but probiotics, dietary fibres and phytochemicals can have anti-inflammatory effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effect of multi-strain probiotics and two conceivable prebiotics in an experimental colitis model.
Material and methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a fibre-free diet alone or in combination with Lactobacillus crispatus DSM 16743, L. gasseri DSM 16737 and Bifidobacterium infantis DSM 15158 and/or rye bran and blueberry husks. Colitis was induced by 5% dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) given by oro-gastric tube. Colitis severity, inflammatory markers, gut-load of lactobacilli and Enterobacteriaceae, bacterial translocation and formation of carboxylic acids (CAs) were analysed.
Results: The disease activity index (DAI) was lower in all treatment groups. Viable counts of Enterobacteriaceae were reduced and correlated positively with colitis severity, while DAI was negatively correlated with several CAs, e.g. butyric acid. The addition of probiotics to blueberry husks lowered the level of caecal acetic acid and increased that of propionic acid, while rye bran in combination with probiotics increased caecal CA levels and decreased distal colonic levels. Blueberry husks with probiotics reduced the incidence of bacterial translocation to the liver, colonic levels of myeloperoxidase, malondialdehyde and serum interleukin-12. Acetic and butyric acids in colonic content correlated negatively to malondialdehyde.
Conclusions: A combination of probiotics and blueberry husks or rye bran enhanced the anti-inflammatory effects compared with probiotics or dietary fibres alone. These combinations can be used as a preventive or therapeutic approach to dietary amelioration of intestinal inflammation.