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Curr Microbiol. 2009 Apr;58(4):338-42. doi: 10.1007/s00284-008-9335-1. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

In vitro fermentation of oat bran obtained by debranning with a mixed culture of human fecal bacteria.

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  • 1School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


The prebiotic potential of oat samples was investigated by in vitro shaker-flask anaerobic fermentations with human fecal cultures. The oat bran fraction was obtained by debranning and was compared with other carbon sources such as whole oat flour, glucose, and fructo-oligosaccharide. The oat bran fraction showed a decrease in culturable anaerobes and clostridia and an increase in bifidobacteria and lactobacilli populations. A similar pattern was observed in fructo-oligosaccharide. Butyrate production was higher in oat bran compared to glucose and similar to that in fructo-oligosaccharide. Production of propionate was higher in the two oat media than in fructo-oligosaccharide and glucose, which can be used as energy source by the liver. This study suggests that the oat bran fraction obtained by debranning is digested by the gut ecosystem and increases the population of beneficial bacteria in the indigenous gut microbiota. This medium also provides an energy source preferred by colonocytes when it is metabolized by the gut flora.

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