Scope: In vitro and animal studies have shown differential colonic fermentation of structurally different prebiotics. We evaluated the impact of two structurally different prebiotics (wheat bran extract (WBE, containing arabinoxylan-oligosaccharides) and oligofructose) on colonic fermentation and markers of bowel health in healthy volunteers.
Methods and results: Nineteen healthy subjects completed a double-blind, cross-over randomized controlled trial. Interventions with WBE, oligofructose or placebo for 2 wk (week 1: 15 g/day; week 2: 30 g/day) were separated by 2-wk wash-out periods. At the end of each study period, colonic fermentation was characterized through a metabolomics approach. Fecal water genotoxicity and cytotoxicity were determined using the comet and WST-1 assay, respectively, as parameters of gut health. Cluster analysis revealed differences in effects of WBE and oligofructose on colonic fermentation. WBE, but not oligofructose, reduced fecal p-cresol (p = 0.009) and isovaleric acid concentrations (p = 0.022), markers of protein fermentation. Fecal water cytotoxicity was significantly lower after intake of WBE (p = 0.015). Both WBE- and oligofructose-intake tended to reduce fecal water genotoxicity compared to placebo (WBE: p = 0.060; oligofructose: p = 0.057). Changes in fermentation were not related to changes in fecal water toxicity.
Conclusion: Structurally different prebiotics affect colonic fermentation and gut health in a different way.
Keywords: Arabinoxylan-oligosaccharides; Fecal water toxicity; Fermentation; Oligofructose.
© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.