Effect of the dietary polyphenolic fraction of chicory root, peel, seed and leaf extracts on caecal fermentation and blood parameters in rats fed diets containing prebiotic fructans

Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar;105(5):710-20. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510004344. Epub 2010 Dec 7.


The aim of this 28 d experiment was to examine the physiological response of growing rats to a dietary combination of prebiotic chicory fructans, with polyphenols originating from different parts of the chicory plant, i.e. roots, root peels, seeds and leaves. A total of forty rats were assigned to groups fed the following diets characterised by a similar content of oligofructose and inulin: control, with 10 % of a root extract (a low level of dietary polyphenols, 0·05 %), with 6·5 % of a root peel extract (a medium level of dietary polyphenols, 0·107 %), with a combination of 8 % of a peel extract and 0·8 % of a seed extract (a high level of dietary polyphenols, 0·208 %) and with 2·5 % of a leaf extract (a medium level of dietary polyphenols, 0·106 %, with chicoric acid constituting half of them). Chicory seeds are the richest source of polyphenols, especially abundant in dicaffeoylquinic acids. When applied as a dietary supplement, the mixture of monocaffeoylquinic and dicaffeoylquinic acids, from the extracts made of roots, root peels and seeds, elicited more favourable changes in parameters of the antioxidative status of the body and in the activity of bacterial β-glucuronidase in the faeces and caecal digesta. In turn, the extract from chicory leaves, containing considerable quantities of chicoric acid and polyphenolic glycosides, apart from chlorogenic acids, also triggered desirable changes in the lipid profile of the blood serum. The high concentration of polyphenols in the extracts examined enables their application as dietary supplements to be administered in low doses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria
  • Cecum / drug effects*
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Chicory / chemistry*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Feces
  • Fermentation
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Fructans / pharmacology*
  • Glucuronidase / metabolism
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Structures
  • Polyphenols
  • Prebiotics*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Fructans
  • Lipids
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Prebiotics
  • Glucuronidase