Background: Although a genetic component has been identified as a risk factor for developing inflammatory bowel disease, there is evidence that dietary factors also play a role in the development of this disease.
Aims: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of feeding a red meat diet with and without resistant starch (RS) to mice with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis.
Methods: Colonic experimental colitis was induced in Balb/c mice using DSS. The severity of colitis was evaluated based on a disease activity index (based on bodyweight loss, stool consistency, rectal bleeding, and overall condition of the animal) and a histological score. Estimations were made of numbers of a range of different bacteria in the treatment pools of cecal digesta using quantitative real-time PCR.
Results: Consumption of a diet high in red meat increased DSS-induced colitis as evidenced by higher disease activity and histopathological scores. Addition of RS to the red meat diet exerted a beneficial effect in acute DSS-induced colitis. Subjective analysis of numbers of a range of bacterial targets suggest changes in the gut microbiota abundance were induced by red meat and RS treatments and these changes could contribute to the reported outcomes.
Conclusions: A dietary intake of red meat aggravates DSS-induced colitis whereas co-consumption of resistant starch reduces the severity of colitis.