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J Nutr. 1998 Mar;128(3):536-40.

Dietary maltitol decreases the incidence of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced cecum and proximal colon tumors in rats.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, School of Medicine, Nagoya University, Showa-ku, Nagoya, 466, Japan.


Maltitol is fermented in the colon due to only partial hydrolysis in the small intestine. In the present study, we examined effects of dietary maltitol on dimethylhydrazine-induced intestinal tumor in rats. In experiment 1, rats were fed a fiber-free diet or diets supplemented with 1 or 5 g/100 g maltitol for 27 wk. Each group of rats was injected with dimethylhydrazine or vehicle alone for the first 14 wk of the experimental period. Maltitol supplementation at 1 g/100 g of the diet significantly reduced tumor incidence in the cecum and the 5% supplement reduced tumor incidence in both the cecum and proximal colon in dimethylhydrazine-treated rats. In experiment 2, we investigated the effect of the 1 g/100 g maltitol diet on the short chain fatty acid concentrations in cecal contents of placebo and dimethylhydrazine-treated rats. Intake of the 1 g/100 g maltitol diet doubled (P < 0.05) the concentration of butyrate but did not affect acetate or propionate in the cecal contents. These results suggest that dietary maltitol has a protective effect against dimethylhydrazine-induced tumors in rat cecum and proximal colon and that butyrate produced by bacterial fermentation of maltitol in the cecum may be involved in the protection.

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