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Food Funct. 2014 Sep;5(9):2298-308. doi: 10.1039/c4fo00325j.

Phenolic metabolites and substantial microbiome changes in pig feces by ingesting grape seed proanthocyanidins.

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Department of Viticulture & Enology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616-8749, USA.


Proanthocyanidin (PAC) consumption has been linked to better colonic health, but PACs are poorly absorbed, making them a target for colonic metabolism. The resulting metabolites are low molecular weight and could potentially be absorbed. To understand the effects of dietary PACs it would be important to resolve the metabolic issue and link these changes to microbial population changes in a suitable model for human digestion. Here, six crossbred female pigs were fed a diet containing 1% (w/w) of MegaNatural® Gold grape seed extract (GSE) daily for 6 days. Fecal samples were analyzed by normal phase LC coupled to fluorescence detection and LC-MS/ToF. DNA was extracted from pig fecal samples and the V3/V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced using an Illumina MiSeq. Intact parent PACs (dimer-pentamer) were observed in the feces on days 3 and 6 at similar high levels (∼400 mg kg(-1) total) during ingestion of GSE but were absent 48 h post-feeding. The major phenolic metabolites were 4-hydroxyphenylvaleric acid and 3-hydroxybenzoic acid which increased by ∼30 and 3 mg kg(-1) respectively. The GSE diet also caused an ecological shift in the microbiome, dramatically increasing Lachnospiraceae, Clostridales, Lactobacillus and Ruminococcacceae. The relationship between dietary PACs and colon health may be attributable to the altered bacterial populations or phenolic compounds in the colon.

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