Colonic hydrogen generated from fructan diffuses into the abdominal cavity and reduces adipose mRNA abundance of cytokines in rats

J Nutr. 2013 Dec;143(12):1943-9. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.183004. Epub 2013 Oct 16.


Hydrogen (H2) protects against inflammation-induced oxidative stress. Nondigestible saccharides (NDSs) enhance colonic H2 production. We examined whether colonic H2 transfers to tissues in the abdominal cavity and whether it affects expression of proinflammatory cytokines. In Expts. 1 and 2, rats were fed diets containing fructooligosaccharides [FOSs; 25 (Expt. 1) and 50 g/kg (Expts. 1 and 2)] for 7 and 14 d, respectively. The no-FOS diet was used as the control diet. At the end of the experiment, H2 excretion and the portal H2 concentration were significantly greater in the FOS group than in the control group. In the FOS group, the arterial H2 concentration was no more than 1.5% of the portal H2 concentration (P = 0.03). The H2 concentration in abdominal cavity tissues, especially adipose tissue, in the FOS group was 5.6- to 43-fold of that in the control group (P < 0.05). The H2 content in the abdominal cavity in the FOS group was 11-fold of that in the control group (P < 0.05). In Expt. 3, rats were fed a high-fat diet containing FOS and inulin (50 g/kg) for 28 d. The area under the curve for H2 excretion between 0 and 28 d and portal and adipose H2 concentrations were significantly higher in the FOS and inulin groups than in the high-fat control group. Adipose mRNA abundance of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells 1 was lower in the FOS group than in the control group (P = 0.02) and those of interleukin-6 and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 tended to be lower (P < 0.11). Colonic H2 generated from NDS diffuses to the abdominal cavity before transferring to abdominal tissues. Reduced cytokine expression by FOS feeding might be dependent on increased colonic H2. Colonic H2 may have important implications in the suppressive effect on metabolic syndrome via oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Cavity*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Colon / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Fructans / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen / metabolism*
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Cytokines
  • Fructans
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Hydrogen