Effect of dietary fibre of barley variety 'Rihane' on azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci development and on colonic microbiota diversity in rats.
ABSTRACT Many epidemiological and experimental studies have suggested an important role for dietary fibre (DF) of cereals in the prevention of colon cancer. The objective of the present study was to explain the effects of the DF of barley Rihane (BR) on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and colonic bacterial diversity in rats. Following an acclimatisation period, rats were divided into four groups and fed a control (C) diet or experimental diet containing 30 % of BR. DF content in the experimental diet was twice that of the C diet (total DF was 8·69 % in the C diet and 15·24 % in the BR diet). At 7 and 8 weeks of age, rats received two successive subcutaneous injections of AOM at 20 mg/kg body weight. At 12 weeks after the first injection, ten animals from each group were killed. The BR diet decreased colonic pH (P < 0·05) compared with the C diet. The total number of ACF observed decreased considerably in the BR/AOM group compared with the C/AOM group (P < 0·05). Comparison of similarity coefficients showed variability of colonic microbiota species between the different groups. In addition, we showed inter-individual variability within the same group. This similarity was affected by BR and AOM. The present results show that bifidobacteria numbers were lower in rats fed the BR diet compared with those fed the C diet. However, the number of enterobacteria in colonic content was increased (P < 0·05) in the BR group compared with the C group. The results from the present study show that the DF of BR reduced the incidence of AOM-induced ACF and increased microbiota biodiversity.