Background: Kiwifruit is high in pectic polysaccharides and dietary fiber. This study aimed to find out how the ingestion of kiwifruit will affect intestinal microbiota populations, namely Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Clostridium, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus.
Methods: Freeze dried kiwifruit (equivalent of two fresh kiwifruits) was given to each of the six subjects daily for four days. Faecal samples were collected before, during and after kiwifruit consumption. The faecal bacteria were enumerated by qPCR and RT qPCR methods.
Results: The effect of the kiwifruit on intestinal microbiota profile varied between individuals; in general, the kiwifruit demonstrated a prebiotic effect of promoting the content of faecal lactobacilli and bifidobacteria (as compared to the baselines of the same individual before consumption) for as long as the fruit was consumed. The effect was however transient, the levels of the two bacteria returned near to that of the baselines upon cessation of consumption.
Conclusion: Kiwifruit is a prebiotic in selectively enhancing the growth of intestinal lactic acid bacteria.
Keywords: faecal bifidobacteria; faecal lactobacilli; gastrointestinal microflora; kiwifruit; polysaccharides.