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Prebiotic treatment of experimental colitis with germinated barley foodstuff: A comparison with probiotic or antibiotic treatment

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There is increasing evidence that intestinal microflora play an important role in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. Therefore, modification of the microflora by prebiotics, probiotics, and antibiotics may be a rational approach for controlling intestinal inflammation. Germinated barley food-stuff (GBF) is an insoluble mixture of glutamine-rich protein and hemicellulose-rich dietary fiber. GBF is utilized efficiently by Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Eubacterium and converted by them into lactate, acetate, and butyrate. These bacterial organic acids preserve a favorable intestinal condition. We have previously shown that GBF has attenuated intestinal inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis and experimental colitis models through prebiotic actions. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of GBF with that of probiotics and antibiotics in an experimental colitis model. Colitis was induced by feeding male SD rats with a diet containing 3.0-3.5% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). The therapeutic effect of oral administration of a prebiotic (GBF), probiotics (mixture of Lactobacillus and Clostridium butyricum), antibiotics (vancomycin, metronidazole), and the vehicle was determined by assessing clinical and pathological scores on day 6 after initiation of colitis. Butyrate concentrations in the cecal content were also determined. GBF treatment significantly reduced colonic inflammation as assessed by clinical scores with an increase in cecal butyrate levels. Probiotic treatment with a mixture of Lactobacillus and Clostridium butyricum did not show such an effect. Both antibiotic treatments significantly attenuated clinical and pathological scores. However, in contrast to GBF, this treatment led to a significant decrease in cecal butyrate levels. These data suggest that modification of the intestinal microflora by prebiotics, including GBF, may serve as a useful adjunct in the treatment of ulcerative colitis as well as antibiotic treatment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Pharmaceutical Division, Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd., Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8011, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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