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Arch Anim Nutr. 2011 Feb;65(1):74-87.

Physiological effects of chicory root preparations with various levels of fructan and polyphenolic fractions in diets for rats.

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Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland.


The experiment was aimed at studying the effects of easily fermentable oligosaccharides and phenolic compounds from chicory root meal (CRM) on the fermentative processes in the caecum, the antioxidative status and the lipoprotein profile of rats. Five different diets were fed ad libitum to 40 Wistar rats (eight animals per group, individually housed): a control group (C); group PCM (10% processed CRM, deprived of polyphenolic fraction); group PCMO (8% processed CRM and 1.6% oligofructose); group UCM (10% unprocessed CRM); and group FP (8.3% fructan-polyphenol concentrate from CRM). Diets PCM, PCMO, UCM and FP induced favourable metabolic changes in the caecum, blood lipid profile and the antioxidative status of the body. In the caecum, the experimental diets increased the production of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and acidification of digesta as well as a decrease in the ammonia concentration and bacterial beta-glucuronidase activity. In blood serum, the total cholesterol concentration was reduced and, simultaneously, the proportion of HDL in the total cholesterol concentration was increased. The presence of the polyphenolic fraction in the unprocessed meal (diets UCM and FP) evoked a significant increase in the total antioxidative status in blood serum. Dietary fibre and the polyphenolic fraction present in diet UCM and the FOS-polyphenol concentrate in diet FP did not exhibit an antagonistic activity regarding the physiological parameters analysed, except for in the intensity of caecal fermentation. The results of the experiment point to the benefits of dietary supplementation with chicory preparations containing both prebiotic saccharides and polyphenolic compounds, which enable us to take advantage of the physiological traits of both components.

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