Propionic and butyric acids, formed in the caecum of rats fed highly fermentable dietary fibre, are reflected in portal and aortic serum.

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Abstract

SCFA are important end products formed during colonic fermentation of dietary fibre (DF). It has been suggested that propionic and butyric acids affect metabolic parameters, low-grade systemic inflammation, insulin resistance and obesity. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the various SCFA profiles observed after fermentation in the caecum of rats fed pectin, guar gum and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) were also represented in hepatic portal and aortic serum. The SCFA in serum were extracted using hollow fibre-supported liquid membrane extraction before GLC analysis. The concentrations of acetic, propionic and butyric acids in caecal content correlated well with those in portal serum (P< 0·001) for all the three diets. A weaker correlation was found for propionic and butyric acids between the caecal content and aortic serum (P< 0·05). Butyric acid concentration in caecal content was also reflected in the aortic serum (P= 0·019) of rats fed FOS. FOS gave rather low amounts of the SCFA, especially butyric acid, but caecal tissue weight was higher with FOS than with the other two diets. This may be explained by rapid fermentation and quick utilisation/absorption of the SCFA. The present study also showed that propionic acid was metabolised/utilised to a higher extent than butyric acid by colonocytes before reaching the liver. We conclude that the formation of propionic and butyric acids in the caecum is reflected by increased concentrations in the aortic blood. This approach may therefore simplify the evaluation and study of SCFA from DF in human subjects.

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  • Nutrition and Dietetics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1565-1572
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume110
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry (011001300)

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