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J Appl Microbiol. 2010 Jun;108(6):2114-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2009.04617.x. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

In vitro evaluation of the fermentation properties and potential prebiotic activity of Agave fructans.

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1
Gastroenterology Unit, National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico city, Mexico.

Abstract

AIMS:

This study was carried out to evaluate in vitro the fermentation properties and the potential prebiotic activity of Agave-fructans extracted from Agave tequilana (Predilife).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Five different commercial prebiotics were compared using 24-h pH-controlled anaerobic batch cultures inoculated with human faecal slurries. Measurement of prebiotic efficacy was obtained by comparing bacterial changes, and the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) was also determined. Effects upon major groups of the microbiota were monitored over 24 h incubations by fluorescence in situ hybridization. SCFA were measured by HPLC. Fermentation of the Agave fructans (Predilife) resulted in a large increase in numbers of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.

CONCLUSIONS:

Under the in vitro conditions used, this study has shown the differential impact of Predilife on the microbial ecology of the human gut.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

This is the first study reporting of a potential prebiotic mode of activity for Agave fructans investigated which significantly increased populations of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli compared to cellulose used as a control.

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