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PLoS One. 2016 Jul 19;11(7):e0159223. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159223. eCollection 2016.

Effects of Arabinoxylan and Resistant Starch on Intestinal Microbiota and Short-Chain Fatty Acids in Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomised Crossover Study.

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Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.
Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark.


Recently, the intestinal microbiota has been emphasised as an important contributor to the development of metabolic syndrome. Dietary fibre may exert beneficial effects through modulation of the intestinal microbiota and metabolic end products. We investigated the effects of a diet enriched with two different dietary fibres, arabinoxylan and resistant starch type 2, on the gut microbiome and faecal short-chain fatty acids. Nineteen adults with metabolic syndrome completed this randomised crossover study with two 4-week interventions of a diet enriched with arabinoxylan and resistant starch and a low-fibre Western-style diet. Faecal samples were collected before and at the end of the interventions for fermentative end-product analysis and 16S ribosomal RNA bacterial gene amplification for identification of bacterial taxa. Faecal carbohydrate residues were used to verify compliance. The diet enriched with arabinoxylan and resistant starch resulted in significant reductions in the total species diversity of the faecal-associated intestinal microbiota but also increased the heterogeneity of bacterial communities both between and within subjects. The proportion of Bifidobacterium was increased by arabinoxylan and resistant starch consumption (P<0.001), whereas the proportions of certain bacterial genera associated with dysbiotic intestinal communities were reduced. Furthermore, the total short-chain fatty acids (P<0.01), acetate (P<0.01) and butyrate concentrations (P<0.01) were higher by the end of the diet enriched with arabinoxylan and resistant starch compared with those resulting from the Western-style diet. The concentrations of isobutyrate (P = 0.05) and isovalerate (P = 0.03) decreased in response to the arabinoxylan and resistant starch enriched diet, indicating reduced protein fermentation. In conclusion, arabinoxylan and resistant starch intake changes the microbiome and short-chain fatty acid compositions, with potential beneficial effects on colonic health and metabolic syndrome.


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