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Toxicology. 1985 Aug;36(2-3):253-62.

Modification of rat caecal microbial biotransformation activities by dietary saccharin.


Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a purified fibre-free diet containing 5% (w/w) sodium saccharin for 4 weeks or 20 weeks and changes in caecal bacterial numbers and enzyme activities (endogenous ammonia production, beta-glucosidase, beta-glucuronidase, nitrate reductase, nitroreductase, aryl sulphatase) determined in vitro. Saccharin treatment gave marked caecal enlargement but had no effect on bacterial concentration at either treatment period, and significantly decreased beta-glucuronidase, nitrate reductase and sulphatase activities/g caecal contents. The incubation of a suspension of caecal contents from control rats with saccharin (75 mM) in vitro inhibited beta-glucuronidase and nitrate reductase activities, and ammonia production from endogenous substrates. Such changes may decrease the rate of formation of toxic bacterial products in the hindgut.

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