Effects of different sources of fructans on body weight, blood metabolites and fecal bacteria in normal and obese non-diabetic and diabetic rats

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2012 Mar;67(1):64-70. doi: 10.1007/s11130-011-0266-9.


Fructans contribute significantly to dietary fiber with beneficial effects on gastrointestinal physiology in healthy individuals and offer a promising approach to treating some diseases. Two experiments (Experiment 1 = rats with normal weight; Experiment 2 = obese rats) were developed to compare the effects of three fructan sources (Cichorium intybus L. Asteraceae, Helianthus tuberosus L. Asteraceae and Agave angustifolia ssp. tequilana Haw, Agavaceae) on body weight change, blood metabolites and fecal bacteria in non-diabetic (ND) and diabetic (D) rats. In Experiment 1 total body weight gain and daily feed intake in D and ND rats decreased (P < 0.05) with supplements of fructan. Only in D rats, blood glucose concentrations, fecal Clostrodium spp. counts, and liver steatosis decreased, while blood HDL concentrations and fecal Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. counts increased due to fructans. In Experiment 2, total body weight gain and feed intake in ND and D rats were also decreased by fructans. In ND rats, fructan decreased blood glucose concentrations. In D rats, fructans from A. angustifolia ssp. tequilana decreased blood cholesterol and LDL and liver steatosis. For both ND and D rats, fecal Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. counts were higher (P < 0.05) with fructan supplements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asteraceae / chemistry*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Fructans / isolation & purification
  • Fructans / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fructans
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol