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Br J Nutr. 2011 May;105(10):1480-5. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510005349. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

Dietary resistant and butyrylated starches have different effects on the faecal bacterial flora of azoxymethane-treated rats.

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Preventative Health National Research Flagship, CSIRO Human Nutrition, Adelaide, SA, Australia.


Epidemiological studies have suggested that dietary fibre lowers the risk of colorectal cancer, which may be due to increased butyrate production from colonic fermentation of a type of fibre, resistant starch (RS). The present study investigated the effects of dietary RS and butyrylated RS on the faecal microbiota of rats treated with azoxymethane. A total of four groups of nine rats were fed diets containing either standard maize starch (low-amylose maize starch (LAMS), low RS), LAMS with 3 % tributyrin (LAMST), cooked 10 % high-amylose maize starch (HAMS, high RS) or cooked 10 % butyrylated HAMS (HAMSB). Faecal samples were examined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments. Multivariate analysis demonstrated no differences between faecal microbiota before treatment but revealed differences in DGGE patterns between diet groups, with the exception of the two low-RS groups (LAMS and LAMST). Subsequent analysis identified eleven DGGE bands contributing significantly to the differentiation between diets. These phylotypes belonged to Clostridiales (five), Lactobacillus (one) and Bacteroidetes (five) lineages. Rats fed HAMS had increased concentration of propionate in their distal colonic digesta and developed faecal populations containing Ruminococcus bromii-like bacteria. HAMSB increased propionate and butyrate concentrations in distal colonic digesta and was associated with the appearance of two non-butyrate-producing bacteria, Lactobacillus gasseri and Parabacteroides distasonis. In conclusion, supplementation with specific dietary RS leads to changes in faecal microbiota profiles that may be associated with improved bowel health.

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