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J Anim Sci. 2003 Dec;81(12):3057-66.

A dose-response experiment evaluating the effects of oligofructose and inulin on nutrient digestibility, stool quality, and fecal protein catabolites in healthy adult dogs.

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  • 1Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801, USA.


In this experiment, three concentrations (0.3, 0.6, and 0.9% of diet, as-fed basis) of two fructans, oligofructose (OF) and inulin, were tested against a 0% supplemental fructan control. Seven ileal-cannulated adult female dogs were fed a meat-based, kibbled diet and assigned to treatments in a 7 x 7 Latin square design. Dietary supplementation of fructans had no effect on nutrient intakes or ileal digestibilities. Total-tract digestibilities of DM, OM, and CP decreased (P < 0.05) as a result of dietary OF and inulin supplementation. Dogs fed the control diet had a DM total-tract digestibility of 83.0%. The percentages of fecal DM for dogs fed the control and 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9% OF were 36.6, 33.3, 32.8, and 31.7%, respectively. When compared with the control, OF (P < 0.01) and inulin (P < 0.01) supplementation increased fecal ammonia concentrations. Higher fecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFA; P < 0.10) and isovalerate concentrations (P < 0.01) were noted for dogs fed both fructans. Total fecal SCFA for dogs fed the control diet and 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9% OF were 406.4, 529.9, 538.3, and 568.8 micromol/g of feces (DM basis), respectively. Dogs fed 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9% inulin had total fecal SCFA of 472.2, 468.8, and 471.5 micromol/g of feces (DM basis), respectively. Linear increases were observed in putrescine (P < 0.11), cadaverine (P < 0.07), spermidine (P < 0.12), and total amines (P < 0.05) in feces of dogs fed OF. Lower fecal phenol (P < 0.08) and total phenol (P < 0.04) concentrations occurred in dogs fed inulin, along with a linear decrease (P < 0.08) in total phenols with OF supplementation. Total fecal phenols for dogs fed the control, 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9% inulin were 3.03, 1.86, 1.97, and 2.23 micromol/g of feces (DM basis), respectively. Low-level dietary inclusion of inulin and OF positively affected indices known to be associated with gut health of the dog without seriously compromising nutrient digestibility or stool quality. Overall, the 0.9% OF treatment resulted in the best responses, including no adverse effect on nutrient intakes, ileal digestibilities, or stool quality, as well as increased fecal SCFA and decreased fecal phenols. The biological responses due to inulin were more variable.

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