The nutraceutical properties of Aloe vera have been attributed to a glucomannan known as acemannan. Recently information has been published about the presence of fructans in Aloe vera but there are no publications about acemannan and fructans as prebiotic compounds. This study investigated in vitro the prebiotic properties of these polysaccharides. Our results demonstrated that fructans from Aloe vera induced bacterial growth better than inulin (commercial FOS). Acemannan stimulated bacterial growth less than fructans, and as much as commercial FOS. Using qPCR to study the bacterial population of human feces fermented in a bioreactor simulating colon conditions, we found that fructans induce an increase in the population of Bifidobacterium spp. Fructans produced greater amounts of short chain fatty acids (SCFA), while the branched-chain fatty acids (BCFA) did not increase with these polysaccharides. Acemannan increased significantly acetate concentrations. Therefore, both Aloe vera polysaccharides have prebiotic potentials.
Keywords: Aloe vera; BCFA; SCFA; bifidobacterium; fructans; prebiotics; qPCR.