Brownlee, I.A.; Atherton, M.A.; Havler, M.E.; Dettmar, P.W.; Allen, A.; Pearson, J.P.
April 2003
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA98
Academic Journal
This study aimed to characterise the effect of dietary fibre type on levels of mucosal reddening and the protective capability of the colonic mucus barrier in an in vivo model. The effects of 8 week feeding of six different fibre containing diets were ascertained on Wistar rats, and compared to control diets (standard chow). Each diet contained approximately 14% fibre by weight, except the fibre deficient diet. After this time, the maximal colonic mucus thickness and replenishment rates were measured in vivo using an intravital microscopy technique. Initial mucosal redness and intracellular mucin were assessed by densitometric image analysis of in vivo and histological microphotographs, respectively. Fibre deficient, pectin, and cellulose diets reduced maximal mucus thickness (> 100 µm thinner than 550 pm control) and mucus replenishment rates (by > 50%) compared with controls (p < 0.001), but not intracellular mucin. Pectin and cellulose diets significantly increased colonic mucosal reddening (p < 0.001). An ispaghula husk diet increased intracellular colonic mucin levels (p < 0.05) by 28%. Inclusion of 1% alginate in the diet lead to an elevation of maximal mucus thickness (103 µm thicker than control) and a reduced level of mucosal reddening by 15% (p < 0.001). Higher levels of alginate (ie 5%) had no effect. Dietary fibre types that caused a reduction in the protective capacity (namely pectin and cellulose) of the colonic mucus layer lead to an increase in mucosal redness. These results suggest fibre type and inclusion in the diet modulates both the protective potential of the colonic mucus layer, and also levels of mucosal damage. Certain Fibre types may be of benefit in the possible prevention and alleviation of certain diseases (eg IBDs, lBS), where colonic protection by the mucus layer is reduced.


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