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J Nutr. 1997 Sep;127(9):1822-7.

Fecal numbers of bifidobacteria are higher in pigs fed Bifidobacterium longum with a high amylose cornstarch than with a low amylose cornstarch.

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Co-operative Research Centre for Food Industry Innovation, CSIRO (Australia) Division of Human Nutrition, Adelaide 5000, Australia.


Twelve young male pigs consumed a purified diet containing wheat bran as fiber source. Starch provided 50% of total daily energy either as a low amylose cornstarch or as a high amylose (amylomaize) starch. The pigs were given a supplement of a freeze-dried probiotic organism (Bifidobacterium longum CSCC 1941). A block crossover design was used so that at any one time two groups of three pigs consumed either the high or low amylose cornstarch without probiotic and a further two groups of three pigs consumed either high or low amylose cornstarch with probiotic. Neither food intake nor body weight gain was affected by diet. Fecal output was higher when pigs were fed the high amylose cornstarch, but moisture content was unaffected. Fecal concentrations and excretion of total volatile fatty acids were higher when pigs were fed the high amylose cornstarch. Concentrations of acetate were unaffected by dietary starch, but those of propionate and butyrate were higher when the high amylose cornstarch was consumed. Fecal excretion of all three acids was higher during high amylose cornstarch feeding. Bifidobacteria were detected in the feces only when pigs were fed Bifidobacterium longum. Fecal bifidobacteria counts (expressed per gram of wet feces) and their daily fecal excretion were higher when pigs were fed high amylose cornstarch. Feeding the probiotic did not alter fecal starch or volatile fatty acids. None of the variables studied was affected by the order of feeding of starch or probiotic. The data show that a high amylose starch acts as a prebiotic in promoting the fecal excretion of probiotic organisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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