Oatmeal porridge has been consumed for centuries and has several health benefits. We aimed to investigate the effect of oatmeal porridge on gut microflora functions. A total of ten healthy subjects ingested 60 g oatmeal porridge daily for 1 week. The following microflora-associated characteristics were assessed before and after the intervention: intestinal gas production following lactulose ingestion, faecal excretion of SCFA and faecal levels of urease and β-galactosidase. In addition, rectal levels of PGE2 were measured. Microbial fermentation as evaluated by intestinal gas production and excretion of SCFA did not change significantly following the dietary intervention. However, faecal levels of β-galactosidase and urease decreased after eating oatmeal porridge (P=0·049 and 0·031, respectively). Host inflammatory state, as measured by rectal levels of PGE2, also decreased, but the change was not significant (P=0·168). The results suggest that oatmeal porridge has an effect on gut microbial functions and may possess potential prebiotic properties that deserve to be investigated further.
Keywords: Hydrogen; Methane; Microbiota; PGE2; SCFA; Urease; β-Galactosidase.