Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb.) alleviates antibiotic-associated diarrhea, modifies intestinal microbiota, and increases the level of short-chain fatty acids in mice

Food Res Int. 2019 Aug:122:191-198. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2019.04.016. Epub 2019 Apr 9.


Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) is a common adverse effect of antibiotic treatment. The study was to evaluate effects of Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb.) on AAD, and changes of intestinal microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). AAD model was established using Balb/c mice by gavage with ampicillin for 5 days, followed by a 10-day administration of low, medium, and high dosage of Chinese yam, containing allantoin (4.35 mg/g) and polysaccharides (85.51 mg/g). The results showed that Chinese yam accelerated the recovery from acute diarrhea, reverse AAD-induced body weight loss and cecal enlargement. The high-dosage Chinese yam increased probiotic Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli by 47% and 21% and decreased potential pathogen Enterococcus and Clostridium perfringens by 8% and 27% on day 15 (P < .05). Bacterial community analysis revealed that Chinese yam contributed to repair the ampicillin-induced intestinal microbiota disorder, enrich the abundance of Bacteroides spp. and Clostridium spp. Additionally, Chinese yam supplementation increased the production of SCFA.

Keywords: Allantoin (PubChem CID: 204); Antibiotic-associated diarrhea; Chinese yam; DGGE; Intestinal bacteria; Short-chain fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ampicillin / adverse effects
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cecum / drug effects
  • Diarrhea / chemically induced*
  • Diarrhea / metabolism
  • Dioscorea / chemistry*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ampicillin