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Br J Nutr. 1993 Jul;70(1):211-9.

Prevention of coprophagy does not alter the hypocholesterolaemic effects of oat bran in the rat.

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CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition, Glenthorne Laboratory, O'Halloran Hill, Australia.


Male rats were fed on either a non-purified rodent diet (JS) or cholesterol-free purified diets containing wheat bran (WB) or oat bran (OB). Some animals were allowed normal access to their faeces for coprophagy (coprophagy+), while in others coprophagy was prevented by placement of a plastic cup over the anus (coprophagy-). Direct ingestion of faeces from the anus was observed in the former groups. Food intake was unaffected by diet or coprophagy status and body weight gain was unchanged with OB- and JS- but was significantly lower with WB-. Plasma cholesterol was highest with WB and equally lower with OB and JS and was unaffected by coprophagy status. Plasma triacylglycerols were highest with OB and were unaffected by coprophagy status. Caecal digesta mass was highest with JS, intermediate with OB and lowest with WB. Digesta mass was unaffected by coprophagy status with WB and JS but was higher with OB-. Digesta moisture content was lowest with WB+ but highest with WB-. Digesta volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations were similarly lower with OB+ and OB-, but were significantly lower with JS- and WB- than in the corresponding coprophagy+ group. In all groups digesta butyrate concentrations were reduced by coprophagy prevention. Pools of total VFA, acetate and butyrate in the digesta were highest with JS. Pools of total VFA in digesta were highest with JS+, OB+ and OB- and lowest with WB+ and WB-. The propionate pool was highest with OB-, intermediate with OB+, and equally low in all other groups. The pool of butyrate was highest with JS+ and lowest with OB-.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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