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Food Funct. 2013 Aug;4(8):1237-44. doi: 10.1039/c3fo60083a.

Effects of Agave tequilana fructans with different degree of polymerization profiles on the body weight, blood lipids and count of fecal Lactobacilli/Bifidobacteria in obese mice.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación y Asistencia en Tecnología y Diseño del Estado de Jalisco A. C, Av. Normalistas No 800, Col. Colinas de la Normal, 44270 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.


Fructans are dietary fibers with beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal physiology and offer a promising approach for the treatment of some metabolic disorders associated with obesity. In vitro and in vivo studies were developed to test the safety of fructans obtained from Agave tequilana Weber var. azul. Additionally, an in vivo experiment using a diet-induced obesity model was performed to compare the effect of agave fructans with different degree of polymerization (DP) profiles: agave fructans with DP > 10 (LcF), agave FOS with DP < 10 (ScF), and agave fructans with and without demineralization (dTF, TF) versus commercial chicory fructans (OraftiSynergy1™) on the body weight change, fat, total cholesterol, triglycerides and count of fecal Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. Results showed that A. tequilana fructans were not mutagenic and were safe even at a dose of 5 g per kg b.w. Obese mice that received ScF showed a significant decrease in body weight gain, fat tissue and total cholesterol without increasing the count of fecal Bifidobacteria. Whereas, obese mice that received LcF and TF showed decreased triglycerides and an increased count of fecal Bifidobacteria. Interestingly, although obese mice that received dTF did not show changes in body weight gain, fat tissue, total cholesterol or triglycerides, they showed an increase in the count of Bifidobacteria. These results demonstrate that both the degree of polymerization and the demineralization process can influence the biological activity of agave fructans.

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