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Prebiotic effect of yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) on intestinal mucosa using a mouse model

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Prebiotics are non-digestible but fermentable oligosaccharides that can influence the composition and the activity of some intestinal bacteria to promote the health of the host. Smallanthus sonchifolius (yacon) contains beta-1,2-oligofructans as the main saccharides and its roots are consumed in South American countries. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prebiotic property of yacon root flour. Its influence on the intestinal microbiota and gut immune system were evaluated using a mice model. The results show the prebiotic effects of yacon root flour, stimulating the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and the intestinal immune system with increases in IgA and different cytokines. Cells from the innate response were mainly involved in the effect of yacon root flour. T cells were also activated and able to induce IL-10 and IFN production. The long term administration of yacon root flour maintained the intestinal homeostasis without inflammatory effect regulated mainly through IL-10 and IL-4 regulatory cytokines.
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Keywords: intestinal immunity; intestinal microbiota; prebiotic; yacon

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Facultad de Bioquimica, Quimica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina 2: Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos (CERELA-CONICET), San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina 3: Laboratorio de Investigaciones Ecologicas de las Yungas (LIEY), Facultad de Ciencia Naturales e Instituto Miguel Lillo, Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Tucuman, Argentina 4: Facultad de Bioquimica, Quimica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina,Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos (CERELA-CONICET), San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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