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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Feb;65(1):79-88. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2013.825700. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

In vitro batch cultures of gut microbiota from healthy and ulcerative colitis (UC) subjects suggest that sulphate-reducing bacteria levels are raised in UC and by a protein-rich diet.

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Faculty of Home Economics, Minufiya University , Egypt .


Imbalances in gut microbiota composition during ulcerative colitis (UC) indicate a role for the microbiota in propagating the disorder. Such effects were investigated using in vitro batch cultures (with/without mucin, peptone or starch) inoculated with faecal slurries from healthy or UC patients; the growth of five bacterial groups was monitored along with short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production. Healthy cultures gave two-fold higher growth and SCFA levels with up to ten-fold higher butyrate production. Starch gave the highest growth and SCFA production (particularly butyrate), indicating starch-enhanced saccharolytic activity. Sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) were the predominant bacterial group (of five examined) for UC inocula whereas they were the minority group for the healthy inocula. Furthermore, SRB growth was stimulated by peptone presumably due to the presence of sulphur-rich amino acids. The results suggest raised SRB levels in UC, which could contribute to the condition through release of toxic sulphide.

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