Jerusalem artichokes contain high amounts of inulin, which is a prebiotic that supports digestive health, as well as a variety of insoluble fibers and caffeoylquinic acid. The individual impact of these components on gut microbiota is well known; however, the combinatorial effects are less clear. In this investigation, we fractionated Jerusalem artichokes into three parts (water-soluble extract, insoluble extract, and organic extract) and powdered them. Mice were fed a high-fat diet that included one or more of these extracts for 10 days, and then their cecal pH, cecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and fecal microbiota were evaluated. The combination of the water-soluble and organic extract decreased cecal pH and increased the concentration of SCFAs and led to dynamic changes in the composition of the gut microbiota. These results demonstrate that both the water-soluble and organic extracts in Jerusalem artichokes are bioactive substances that are capable of changing SCFA production and the composition of gut microbiota. Powdered Jerusalem artichokes, rather than inulin supplements, may be superior for promoting a healthy gut.
Keywords: Jerusalem artichoke; inulin; microbiota; organic-soluble materials.