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The fermentation of polydextrose in the large intestine and its beneficial effects


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Polydextrose is a randomly bonded glucose polymer with a highly branched and complex structure. It resists digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract and is partially fermented in the large intestine by the colonic microbes. Due to its complex structure, a plethora of microbes is required for the catabolism of polydextrose and this process occurs slowly. This gradual fermentation of polydextrose gives rise to moderate amounts of fermentation products, such as short chain fatty acids and gas. The production of these metabolites continues in the distal part of the colon, which is usually considered to be depleted of saccharolytic fermentation substrates. The fermentation of polydextrose modifies the composition of the microbiota in the colon, and has been shown to impact appetite and satiety in humans and improve the gastrointestinal function. The purpose of this short review is to summarise the in vitro, in vivo and human studies investigating the fermentation properties of polydextrose in the large intestine.
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Beneficial Microbes, 2014; 5(3): 305-314 WageningenAcademic
ISSN 1876-2833 print, ISSN 1876-2891 online, DOI 10.3920/BM2013.0065 305
1. Introduction
Polydextrose (PDX) is a highly branched, randomly bonded
glucose polymer with an average degree of polymerisation
(DP) of 12, ranging from DP 2 to 120. The molecule contains
all possible combinations of α- and β-linked 1
2, 1
3, 1
and 1
6 glycosidic linkages, though the 1
6 (both α and
β) predominates (Lahtinen et al., 2010). Due to its complex
structure, PDX is not hydrolysed by mammalian digestive
enzymes in the small intestine. In the large intestine, its
fermentation is gradual and incomplete. It modifies the
composition of the colonic microbiota and results in the
production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and gas.
PDX has been acknowledged as a soluble fibre mediating
beneficial effects on gut health, postprandial glycaemia
and satiety (Tiihonen et al., 2011). Its prebiotic properties
have also been investigated. A prebiotic is a non-viable
food component that confers a health benefit on the host,
associated with selective modulation of the microbiota
composition and/or activity (Pineiro et al. 2008).
This review summarises the data obtained from various in
vitro, in vivo and human intervention studies addressing
the fermentation of PDX in the large intestine and the
effects deriving from this sustained fermentation. Classical
microbiological and in vitro cell cultures have been used as
well as multi-stage dynamic colonic fermentation models,
i.e. human colon simulators. In these simulators, the colonic
fermentation of substrates at different stages of the colon
can be studied using anaerobic, connected glass vessels
with varying environmental conditions (flow rate, pH) that
simulate the conditions in the human colon. These systems
work continuously or semi-continuously. Animal studies
have also been used to investigate possible mechanisms of
action of PDX in a living system facilitating the study of the
effects of PDX at various stages of the colon. The effects
seen in the in vitro and in vivo animal models have to large
extent been reproduced in human intervention trials, thus
validating the models and permitting the connection of
these effects to possible health benefits.
2. Fermentation of polydextrose
Fermentation of PDX in the large intestine has been
investigated in several in vitro studies and it is evident,
presumably due to the complex structure of the molecule,
that a consortium of microbes is needed to degrade this
polymer. This was demonstrated in simple pure culture
The fermentation of polydextrose in the large intestine and its beneficial effects
H. Röytiö1,2 and A.C. Ouwehand1
Kantvik Active Nutrition, DuPont Nutrition and Health, Sokeritehtaantie 20, 02460 Kantvik, Finland;
Functional Foods
Forum and Institute of Biomedicine, 20014 University of Turku, Finland;
Received: 25 October 2013 / Accepted: 15 January 2014
© 2014 Wageningen Academic Publishers
Polydextrose is a randomly bonded glucose polymer with a highly branched and complex structure. It resists digestion
in the upper gastrointestinal tract and is partially fermented in the large intestine by the colonic microbes. Due to
its complex structure, a plethora of microbes is required for the catabolism of polydextrose and this process occurs
slowly. This gradual fermentation of polydextrose gives rise to moderate amounts of fermentation products, such as
short chain fatty acids and gas. The production of these metabolites continues in the distal part of the colon, which
is usually considered to be depleted of saccharolytic fermentation substrates. The fermentation of polydextrose
modifies the composition of the microbiota in the colon, and has been shown to impact appetite and satiety in
humans and improve the gastrointestinal function. The purpose of this short review is to summarise the in vitro,
in vivo and human studies investigating the fermentation properties of polydextrose in the large intestine.
Keywords: polydextrose, fibre, sustained fermentation, colon, prebiotic - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address:
H. Röytiö and A.C. Ouwehand.
306 Beneficial Microbes 5(3)
studies with single microbes where PDX was hardly
fermentable (Mäkeläinen et al., 2010b), whereas in batch
and colonic fermentation simulations utilising complex
microbiota PDX was slowly degraded by the microbes,
and fermentation products could be measured from the
fermentation fluids (Probert et al., 2004; Wang and Gibson,
1993). In colon simulator studies (Mäkeläinen et al., 2007),
a gradual disappearance of PDX from simulated digesta has
been shown (Figure 1), demonstrating its slow fermentation
extending from proximal to distal parts of the modelled
colon (Mäkeläinen et al., 2007, 2010a; Mäkivuokko et al.,
2005). This finding is in agreement with animal and human
studies. In a feeding trial with pigs, PDX was observed
to gradually disappear from the digesta obtained from
different parts of the intestines, being still measurable in
the contents of distal colon (Fava et al., 2007). Similarly,
in a human intervention trial, PDX was detected in faecal
samples after consumption (Costabile et al., 2011). Thus, the
sustained fermentation of PDX that has been demonstrated
in laboratory and animal experiments is in agreement with
human clinical data, and it is evident that PDX is also
available for fermentation in the distal part of the colon.
The relevance of this is discussed in the following sections.
Although all subjects excrete PDX in their faeces, substantial
subject-to-subject variation has been observed (Costabile et
al., 2011) suggesting that different gut microbiota exhibit
different abilities to degrade PDX. The fermentation of the
molecule has also been investigated in more detail. An in
vitro trial with simulated colon fermentation showed that
the non-branched molecules became more abundant, while
the relative proportion of branched molecules decreased
as the fermentation of PDX progressed. Also, the relative
abundance of α-1,6 pyranose glucose molecules decreased.
This indicates that the degradation of PDX is not a random
process, but that intestinal microbes have a preference
for branched PDX components and certain glycosidic
linkages when fermenting the complex molecule (Lahtinen
et al., 2010). The data regarding PDX fermentation are
summarised in Table 1.
3. Fermentability of polydextrose by the gut
Effects on microbiota composition
As discussed above, PDX is partially fermented by the
gut microbiota in the colon, and this fermentation affects
the numbers of different microbial groups in the colon.
The human gut microbiota is dominated by three phyla of
microbes, i.e. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes
(Lay et al., 2005). In a recent study by Hooda et al. (2012),
a high-throughput pyrosequencing analysis revealed that
PDX consumption resulted in significant shifts in the
microbiota composition of healthy adult males. Various
microbes in the Firmicutes phylum were affected, where
the abundance of e.g. Faecalibacterium, Clostridiaceae,
Akkermansia and Dialister genera was greater and the
abundance of e.g. Ruminococcus, Eubacterium and
Coprococcus genera was lower after PDX consumption,
as opposed to no supplemental fibre as a control. The
abundance of the phylum Actinobacteria was significantly
decreased, including Bifidobacterium and Coriobacterium
genera. When looking into the abundance of single
species of microbes, the abundance of Faecalibacterium
prausnitzii, known for its ant-inflammatory properties, and
Clostridium leptum was greater after PDX supplementation,
but the levels of Bifidobacterium, Eubacterium rectale
Ascending- Transverse- Descending- Sigmoid/rectum-
Concentration of polydextrose (g/l) in a
simulated model of the human colon
part of the colon model
Figure 1. Gradual disappearance of polydextrose from the faecal slurry in a simulated model of the human large intestine (Enteromix
model). Data are expressed as mean values ± standard deviation. Figure modified from Mäkeläinen et al. (2007). - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address:
Polydextrose fermentation in the large intestine
Beneficial Microbes 5(3) 307
and Ruminococcus species decreased. In another human
intervention trial, Costabile et al. (2012) also saw increased
numbers of C. leptum group members, but the levels of
F. prausnitzii and Bifidobacterium remained unchanged.
The changes observed in the microbiota composition are
summarised in Table 2.
Overall, the changes in the observed composition of the
microbiota following PDX intervention vary greatly from
study to study, perhaps due to the different methods used
(classical plating method, quantitative PCR/fluorescence in
situ hybridisation or high-throughput sequencing) and due
to different subject populations. In vitro studies and earlier
human interventions have mainly focused on assessing the
effects of PDX fermentation on a few specific species and
genera, such as Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Bacteroides
and Clostridium, which are traditionally considered to be
important members of the microbiota (Fuller and Gibson,
1997). However, as our knowledge of the composition of the
microbiota is improving, the traditional division into solely
‘beneficial’ (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) and ‘harmful’
(clostridia and Bacteroides) components is problematic. For
instance, the beneficial and selective prebiotic effects could
be mediated through increased numbers or activities of
butyrate-producing microbes, such as E. rectale/Roseburia
species and F. prausnitzii belonging to clostridial clusters
IV and XIVa (Louis and Flint, 2009). Decreased levels of
these microbes in the gut have been recently linked to
inflammatory bowel diseases (Sokol et al., 2008; Takaishi
et al., 2008), and their faecal levels strongly correlate with
faecal butyrate concentrations. The numbers of these
microbes are modifiable with dietary carbohydrates and
fibre (Benus et al., 2010; Duncan et al., 2007) and according
to a recent study by Hooda et al. (2012), their numbers also
respond favourably to a PDX-supplemented diet.
Fermentation products
The fermentation of non-digestible carbohydrates in the
colon leads to production of SCFA (acetate, propionate
and butyrate) and gases (hydrogen, methane and carbon
dioxide). The production of various fermentation
metabolites is dependent on the composition of the
colonic microbiota. Prebiotic carbohydrates as well as
other types of carbohydrates, e.g. polyols and plant-derived
gums and fibres, may cause extensive gas production
after consumption and lead to undesired side-effects,
such as distension and bloating of the stomach and loose
Table 1. Fermentation of polydextrose (PDX) in different in vitro, in vivo and human clinical trials.
Reference Study type Amount of
Results Conclusions
Mäkeläinen et al., 2010a pure culture 1% concentration Only minor growth of single microbes
was observed when PDX was the
sole carbohydrate source.
Single microbes were not able
to degrade PDX.
Mäkivuokko et al., 2005 colon simulator 0.5, 1, 1.5%
PDX degradation proceeded from
proximal part to distal part of the
model; the amount of degraded PDX
was dependent on the concentration
PDX was gradually fermented
by gut microbiota and
available for degradation in
the distal part of the colon
Mäkeläinen et al., 2007 colon simulator 2% concentration PDX levels decreased gradually from
the proximal to the distal part of the
colon model. Part of the fed PDX was
still present in the distal part.
Gut microbiota degraded PDX
slowly and part of the fed
material remained intact
throughout the colon model.
Lahtinen et al., 2010 colon simulator 2 or 3% concentration Gut microbes had a preference for
branched PDX molecules and 1,6
pyranose linkages.
Degradation of PDX in the gut
was not a random process;
PDX was degraded slowly
and sustainably.
Fava et al., 2007 animal study 30 g/day The amount of PDX decreased in
digesta taken from the distal small
intestine, caecum, proximal colon,
middle colon and distal colon.
PDX was gradually fermented
in the pig gut and still present
in the distal colon.
Costabile et al., 2012 human intervention 8 g/day PDX was recovered (on average 0.8 g)
from faecal samples after a two-week
intervention period
Sustained fermentation of PDX
also occurred in humans and
part of the fed PDX was still
present in the distal colon - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address:
H. Röytiö and A.C. Ouwehand.
308 Beneficial Microbes 5(3)
stools (Flood et al., 2004). The gas production of PDX
has been compared in vitro to other carbohydrates, and
it was seen that the more rapidly fermented short chain
oligosaccharides resulted in more rapid production and
accumulation of gas than the substrates with greater degrees
of polymerisation, such as PDX. Also, the total amount of
gas produced from PDX was substantially less; this was
mainly due to less production of H2 (Hernot et al., 2009).
This effect owes most likely to the slow degradation of the
PDX molecule. Furthermore, short chain oligosaccharides
blended with PDX had a lower gas production rate as well as
a reduced rate of SCFA production compared to short chain
oligosaccharides fermented alone (Vester Boler et al., 2009),
although neutral effects were also reported (Ghoddusi et
al., 2007). In humans, PDX has been reported to be well
tolerated upon consumption (Boler et al., 2011; Costabile
et al., 2011), even in large single doses of up to 50 g or
daily consumption of 90 g (Flood et al., 2004). The high
tolerability is most likely due to the slow fermentation
rate of the complex molecule and, thus, less and slower
gas production.
In line with gas production, the rate of SCFA production
from PDX is also more moderate than from short
chain oligosaccharides, such as fructo- and galacto-
oligosaccharides (Hernot et al., 2009; Mäkeläinen et al.,
2010a). In vitro studies have demonstrated that PDX
fermentation leads to increased concentration of all three
SCFA commonly found in the intestine (Mäkeläinen et al.,
2007, 2010a; Probert et al., 2004). In vitro methods enable
accurate analyses of the microbial metabolites formed, as
the fermentation end-products accumulate in the growth
media in batch and simulator experiments. In animal
and human trials, the fermentation products are quickly
absorbed and/or utilised by the colonocytes or other cells
in the body, thus the concentrations measured in faecal
samples do not describe the total production rate. However,
in animals it is also possible to collect the contents of the
intestine, which gives a better view of PDX fermentation
in a physiological situation. In contrast to in vitro studies,
fermentation of PDX reduced the concentrations of all
SCFA in the colon of pigs (Fava et al., 2007). Concomitantly,
increased levels of acetate and lactate measured from blood
Table 2. Effects of polydextrose on gut microbiota composition.
Hooda et al. (2012)1,2 Costabile et al. (2012)1,3
Phylum Firmicutes
x (Eubacterium rectale/Clostridum coccoides group)
↑ ↑
(Clostridial cluster I and II)
Lactobacillus x
(Lactobacillus/Enterococcus spp.)
Phylum Actinobacteria
Phylum Bacteroides
Bacteroides x x
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii
Clostridium leptum
↑ ↑
Ruminococcus spp.
Ruminococcus intestinalis -
Eubacterium rectale
Eubacterium hallii
Bifidobacterium spp.
= significantly increased numbers (P<0.05);
= significantly decreased numbers (P<0.05); x = no change; - = not tested in this trial.
2 Determined by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing.
3 Determined by fluorescence in situ hybridisation and quantitative PCR. - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address:
Polydextrose fermentation in the large intestine
Beneficial Microbes 5(3) 309
samples suggest an improved absorption rate from the
gastrointestinal tract rather than a reduced production by
the microbes. Similar results have been reported in human
dietary interventions; PDX has a neutral or even decreasing
effect on the faecal SCFA concentrations (Boler et al., 2011;
Costabile et al., 2011; Hengst et al., 2008). As the faecal
levels of acetate have been inversely correlated with the
acetate absorption rate from the human distal colon (Vogt
and Wolever, 2003), it may also be that the serum levels of
these fermentation metabolites are increased in humans
as in pigs, although no data on blood levels currently exist.
The levels of metabolites derived from protein fermentation
are reduced in the presence of PDX. It has been shown in
human interventions (Boler et al., 2011; Jie et al., 2000)
as well as in animals (Fava et al., 2007; Peuranen et al.,
2004) and in vitro (Mäkeläinen et al., 2007, 2010a) that
the levels of proteolytic fermentation metabolites, such
as branched chain fatty acids, faecal ammonia, phenol
compounds, indole and cresole, decrease in association
with PDX. This effect is sustained into the distal part of the
colon and is presumably due to the partial fermentation of
PDX over protein. The production of various fermentation
metabolites from PDX is summarised in Table 3.
4. Beneficial effects of polydextrose
Slow and gradual fermentation of PDX has been
documented in various studies and the beneficial effects
of PDX are mediated either through the metabolites
produced and/or altered microbiota composition. Enhanced
production of SCFA after PDX consumption was shown
to improve the absorption of minerals from the colon.
Calcium and magnesium absorption were enhanced in a
postmenopausal rodent model (Legette et al., 2012), and
increased bone calcium content had also been observed
(Weaver 2010). PDX has also been shown to improve iron
absorption in rats (Santos et al. 2010). Other beneficial
effects are thought to be mediated by increased SCFA
levels in the gastrointestinal tract and beyond. These
effects include relief of constipation, growth inhibition of
pathogenic microorganisms, and impact on cholesterol
biosynthesis in the liver (Topping and Clifton, 2001; Wong
et al., 2006). Indeed, PDX has been reported to shorten
gastrointestinal transit time in constipated (Hengst et
al., 2008) and healthy subjects (Timm et al., 2013) and
soften the stools of healthy humans (Costabile et al., 2012).
Butyrate is considered to be a particularly beneficial SCFA,
as it provides nutrition for colonocytes, enhancing the
integrity of the colonic mucosa. It also promotes appropriate
cell differentiation (Hamer et al., 2008). Conversely, acetate
acts more systemically, influencing fatty acid and cholesterol
synthesis in the liver, whilst propionate may impact satiety
by participating in the regulation of gastrointestinal-derived
hormones (Hosseini et al., 2011). PDX has been shown to
induce short-term satiety and suppress energy intake in
humans (King et al., 2005; Ranawana et al., 2012) in a dose-
dependent manner (Astbury et al., 2013). These effects can
derive and be mediated by the increased concentrations
of various SCFA from sustained PDX fermentation. For
example, satiety and energy intake can be affected through
free fatty acid receptors expressed on enterocytes, which
in turn modulate the release of gut hormones, such as
glucagon-like peptide-1, controlling insulin release and
appetite in the central nervous system (Tolhurst et al., 2012).
Epidemiological studies have long suggested an inverse
association between fibre intake and a range of colonic
and systemic illnesses, such as certain cancers and
cardiovascular disease (Divisi et al., 2006). Fermentation
of fibre into SCFA, especially butyrate, has been speculated
to be behind the protective mechanisms (Hamer et al.,
2008), but also the decreased production of other types of
metabolites may contribute to the effect. Diseases of the
colon manifest themselves predominantly in the distal part
of the colon. The increased proteolytic fermentation taking
place when carbohydrate substrates are depleted may result
in the production of harmful substrates in the distal part
of the colon, which are implicated in disease progression.
In humans, the genotoxicity of faecal water on colonocytes
was decreased after PDX consumption, implying that PDX
fermentation led to desirable changes in the composition
of the lumen contents and, therefore, might decrease
the risk of disease development (Costabile et al., 2011).
Cell culture studies further suggest that the fermentation
products deriving from PDX may partly mediate their
protective activities through modulation of gene expression
of the colonocytes. The expression of colorectal cancer
markers, such as the COX-2 gene, can be suppressed by
PDX fermentation metabolites (Mäkivuokko et al., 2005).
Using a metagenomic approach, PDX fermentation has
been shown to modify the expression of genes in colon
cancer cells that are related to cell cycle, apoptosis and
energy metabolism (Putaala et al., 2011). In animal trials,
PDX tended to decrease the expression of mucosal COX-
2 in pigs (Fava et al., 2007). Furthermore, diets with PDX
as soluble fibre have been shown to increase urinary
excretion of polychlorinated biphenyls (environmental
carcinogens) compared to diets with water-insoluble
fibre in rats (Kimura et al., 2004). These effects of PDX
on the metabolite concentrations may contribute to the
health of the colon, especially in the distal part. It should
be reiterated that the composition of the gut microbiota
impacts the composition of metabolites that are produced
from the fermentation of carbohydrates. Nevertheless, the
changes in the numbers of specific microbes in the colon is
not a health benefit as such, but should be connected to a
beneficial shift in a biomarker of a disease and, therefore,
it is difficult to conclude yet whether PDX possesses ‘true
prebiotic properties’ in addition to its fibre properties. - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address:
H. Röytiö and A.C. Ouwehand.
310 Beneficial Microbes 5(3)
Table 3. Fermentation metabolites produced from polydextrose (PDX).
Reference; study type; amount
of polydextrose
Results1 Conclusions
Gas production
Hernot et al., 2009; batch
fermentation; 0.1% concentration
At all measurement points, PDX fermentation produced the least
total gas and H2 of all the tested carbohydrates.
PDX fermentation was slower than that
of short chain oligosaccharides.
Vester Boler et al., 2009; batch
fermentation; 0.1% concentration
PDX produced the lowest volume of gas of all tested
carbohydrates. Blending of PDX with short chain oligosaccharides
(FOS, GOS) reduced the rate and amount of gas formation in
batch cultures.
Mixing of long and short chain
oligosaccharides attenuated gas
Ghoddusi et al., 2007; batch
fermentation; 0.1% concentration
Low amounts of gas were generated from PDX during the first 8
h, but higher amounts after 32 h. Mixing PDX with short chain
oligosaccharide did not lower the amount of gas produced.
Slow gas production indicated a slow
fermentation rate of PDX .
SCFA production
Hernot et al., 2009; batch
fermentation; 0.1% concentration
Acetate, propionate and butyrate were produced from PDX, but no
lactate was formed. The concentration of SCFA was significantly
lower than that from short chain oligosaccharides.
Slower fermentation rate and longer
time to attain maximal production
rate caused fewer SCFA produced
from PDX.
Mäkeläinen et al., 2010b; colon
simulator; 2% concentration
Concentrations of all SCFA were significantly increased in the
middle and distal part of the colon model. GOS increased acetate
and butyrate levels already in the proximal part of the model.
Slower fermentation of PDX resulted in
less and slower production of SCFA.
Probert et al., 2004; colon
simulator; 1% concentration
PDX increased the production of all SCFA in all stages of the
simulator, acetate being most pronounced.
PDX stimulated bacterial metabolism,
as judged by the increased levels of
Fava et al., 2007; animal study;
30 g/day
PDX reduced the levels of all SCFA in the small and large intestines
of pigs. Increased levels in blood were measured.
Decrease of SCFA in the lumen might
indicate increased absorption, as
measured from blood samples.
Costabile et al., 2012; human
intervention; 8 g/day
No significant changes were observed in the faecal levels of SCFA
after PDX or placebo treatments
PDX consumption did not increase
faecal SCFA levels
Boler et al., 2011; human
intervention; 21 g/day
Faecal acetate, propionate and butyrate concentrations were lower
after PDX consumption compared to control (no fibre).
PDX consumption decreased faecal
SCFA concentrations. SCFA were not
measured from blood.
Hengst et al., 2009; human
intervention; 8 g/day
Faecal levels of SCFA remained constant over the whole study
PDX had no effect on faecal SCFA
Proteolytic metabolites
Mäkeläinen et al., 2010a; colon
simulator; 2% concentration
PDX decreased the levels of branched chain fatty acids in the colon
PDX fermentation decreased the
production of proteolytic metabolites
in the colon model.
Peuranen et al., 2004; animal
study; 2% in feed
PDX ingestion reduced the production of BCFA and few biogenic
amines in rat caecum.
PDX fermentation decreased the
production of proteolytic metabolites
in rats.
Kimura et al., 2004; animal study;
10% in feed
In rats, PDX increased the urinary excretion of polychlorinated
biphenyls compared with water insoluble fibre.
PDX increased the excretion of
environmental carcinogens from rats.
Boler et al., 2011; human
intervention; 21 g/day
Faecal ammonia, 4-methylphenyl, indole and branched chain fatty
acids were decreased after PDX consumption.
All measured protein fermentation
metabolites were decreased after
PDX fermentation.
Hengst et al., 2009; human
intervention; 8 g/day
Branched chain fatty acid levels decreased in faeces after PDX
consumption. A significant decrease of cholesterol degradation
products was measured as well as a decreased faecal excretion
of bile acids.
PDX consumption decreased
putrefactive protein fermentation
and changed bile acid and sterol
1 BCFA = branched chain fatty acids; SCFA = short chain fatty acids; GOS = galacto-oligosaccharides; FOS = fructo-oligosaccharides. - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address:
Polydextrose fermentation in the large intestine
Beneficial Microbes 5(3) 311
5. Conclusions
The sustained and slow fermentation of PDX has been
demonstrated in vitro, in vivo and in human dietary
intervention trials. In the gastrointestinal tract, PDX acts as
soluble fibre. It escapes digestion in the small intestine and is
available for fermentation in the large intestine. In the colon,
PDX is gradually fermented by the colonic microbes into
SCFA and minor amounts of gas. The increased amounts
of SCFA in the more distal part of the colon may mediate
the beneficial effects connected with PDX consumption,
such as increased satiety, absorption of minerals from the
colon and improved gastrointestinal function, e.g. relief
of constipation and softer stools in humans. The slow
and sustained fermentation most likely explain the good
tolerance of PDX observed in human intervention studies.
It also ensures that PDX is present in the distal part of the
colon, where it decreases proteolytic fermentation that
would otherwise take place once saccharolytic substrates
are depleted. PDX fermentation leads to changes in the
composition of the colonic microbiota, However, the
reported changes varied greatly between different studies
(in vitro, in vivo and human trials), and their implications
are not totally clear yet. In the most recent human clinical
trial using modern molecular techniques, microbial groups
considered to possess anti-inflammatory properties were
Dr. Julian Stowell is gratefully acknowledged for valuable
comments and proofreading the language of the
manuscript. DuPont manufactures and sells polydextrose;
A.C. Ouwehand is an employee of DuPont and H. Röytiö
was a DuPont employee until 2012.
Astbury, N.M., Taylor, M.A. and Macdonald, I.A., 2013. Polydextrose
results in a dose-dependent reduction in ad libitum energy intake
at a subsequent test meal. British Journal of Nutrition 110: 934-942.
Benus, R.F., Van der Werf, T.S., Welling, G.W., Judd, P.A., Taylor,
M.A., Harmsen, H.J. and Whelan, K., 2010. Association between
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and dietary fibre in colonic
fermentation in healthy human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition
104: 693-700.
Boler, B.M., Serao, M.C., Bauer, L.L., Staeger, M.A., Boileau, T.W.,
Swanson, K.S. and Fahey Jr., G.C., 2011. Digestive physiological
outcomes related to polydextrose and soluble maize fibre
consumption by healthy adult men. British Journal of Nutrition
106: 1864-1871.
Costabile, A., Fava, F., Röytiö, H., Forssten, S.D., Olli, K., Klievink,
J., Rowland, I.R., Ouwehand, A.C., Rastall, R.A., Gibson, G.R. and
Walton, G.E., 2012. Impact of polydextrose on the faecal microbiota:
a double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled feeding study in
healthy human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition 108: 471-481.
Divisi, D., Di Tommaso, S., Salvemini, S., Garramone, M. and Crisci,
R., 2006. Diet and cancer. Acta Biomedica 77: 118-123.
Table 4. Summary of human intervention trials showing benefits of polydextrose (PDX) consumption.
Reference Amount of polydextrose Conclusions
Costabile et al., 2012 8 g/day PDX reduced genotoxicity of faecal water and improved bowel habits and stool
consistency. Intervention also reduced the tendency of snacking of subjects.
Hengst et al., 2009 8 g/day PDX shortened orofaecal transit time and improved stool consistency in subjects suffering
from constipation.
Timm et al., 2009 20 g/day PDX improved stool consistency and resulted in mild laxative effect in healthy subjects with
only mild or none gastrointestinal tolerance issues.
Hull et al., 2012 0, 6.25, and 12.5 g/test day PDX consumed 90 min before ad libitum lunch and ad libitum dinner decreased the
feelings of hunger. The highest PDX dose decreased energy intake at lunch, which was
not compensated for at dinner. Thus, PDX might aid in increasing satiety and decreasing
energy intake in short-term
Konings et al., 2013 30% of carbohydrates of
breakfast and lunch
Replacement of carbohydrates with PDX increased fat oxidation and pronounced
suppressive effects on appetite ratings, which might affect body weight control over a
long period of time
Ranawana et al., 2013 12 g PDX dose 60 min before ad libitum lunch resulted in a significantly lower energy intake at
lunch. PDX may be a good fortificant for reducing short-term food intake
Astbury et al., 2013 0, 6.25, 12.5, and 25 g PDX dose 90 min before ad libitum lunch decreased the energy intake in a dose-
dependent manner - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address:
H. Röytiö and A.C. Ouwehand.
312 Beneficial Microbes 5(3)
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Polydextrose fermentation in the large intestine
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Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 40: 235-243. - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address: - Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:51:44 AM - IP Address:
... The use of dietary fibre, which includes most prebiotics, has been an exciting opportunity to support the growth of beneficial host microbiota (Bindels et al. 2015;Gibson et al. 1995;Holscher 2017). Indeed, some prebiotic fibres such as inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galactooligosaccharides (GOS), and polydextrose (PDX), which are resistant to digestion and absorption in the intestinal tract, have been shown to beneficially alter the microbiota composition and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium (Holscher 2017;Roytio and Ouwehand 2014). Systemically, improvements in metabolic outcomes and increased satiety (Hull et al. 2012) in an obese population after supplementation with PDX in combination with probiotic strains were described (Hibberd et al. 2019). ...
... Contrary to previous studies showing that PDX increases microbial diversity and supports the growth of beneficial bacteria (such as increases in Faecalibacterium, Akkermansia, and Dialister (Roytio and Ouwehand 2014), in this cohort, no statistically significant changes in microbiota diversity and only minimal changes in composition were observed. However, it should be noted that the effect of PDX on the microbial composition varies greatly from study to study (Roytio and Ouwehand 2014), mainly due to different dosages of PDX (8 g (Costabile et al. 2012) vs. 21 g (Holscher 2017;Holscher et al. 2015), differences in microbiota analysis (nextgeneration sequencing (Holscher et al. 2015) vs. denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (Costabile et al. 2012)), and difference in population characteristics (healthy vs. obese, age, gender, etc.). ...
... Contrary to previous studies showing that PDX increases microbial diversity and supports the growth of beneficial bacteria (such as increases in Faecalibacterium, Akkermansia, and Dialister (Roytio and Ouwehand 2014), in this cohort, no statistically significant changes in microbiota diversity and only minimal changes in composition were observed. However, it should be noted that the effect of PDX on the microbial composition varies greatly from study to study (Roytio and Ouwehand 2014), mainly due to different dosages of PDX (8 g (Costabile et al. 2012) vs. 21 g (Holscher 2017;Holscher et al. 2015), differences in microbiota analysis (nextgeneration sequencing (Holscher et al. 2015) vs. denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (Costabile et al. 2012)), and difference in population characteristics (healthy vs. obese, age, gender, etc.). Additionally, PDX has been shown to only impact outcome measures of weight management, gut barrier function, and inflammation in combination with other probiotic supplementations (Stenman et al. 2016) or elicited microbial changes in obese populations, in which an aberration in microbiota composition is commonly observed (Hibberd et al. 2019). ...
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Rationale: The impact of the microbiota on the gut-brain axis is increasingly appreciated. A growing body of literature demonstrates that use of dietary fibre and prebiotics can manipulate the microbiota and affect host health. However, the influence on cognition and acute stress response is less well understood. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a dietary fibre, polydextrose (PDX), in improving cognitive performance and acute stress responses through manipulation of the gut microbiota in a healthy population. Methods: In this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover design study, 18 healthy female participants received 12.5 g Litesse®Ultra (> 90% PDX polymer) or maltodextrin for 4 weeks. Cognitive performance, mood, acute stress responses, microbiota composition, and inflammatory markers were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Results: PDX improved cognitive flexibility as evidenced by the decrease in the number of errors made in the Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift (IED) task. A better performance in sustained attention was observed through higher number of correct responses and rejections in the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) task. Although there was no change in microbial diversity, abundance of Ruminiclostridium 5 significantly increased after PDX supplementation compared with placebo. PDX supplementation attenuated the increase of adhesion receptor CD62L on classical monocytes observed in the placebo group. Conclusions: Supplementation with the PDX resulted in a modest improvement in cognitive performance. The results indicate that PDX could benefit gut-to-brain communication and modulate behavioural responses.
... According to Do Carmo et al. (2016), PDX (prebiotics) remains undigested throughout the large intestine due to the long fermentation cycle, which stays usable as a carbon supply for the microbiota; therefore, it may stimulate either the growth or the activity of the microbiota. Then, the continuous fermentation of the colonic microbes results in a steady output of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and a little volume of gas (Röytiö & Ouwehand, 2014;Hernot et al., 2009). Clinically, disrupted gas transport and inadequate gas evacuation may contribute to the development of abdominal distention, resulting in pain or flatulence out of proportion to the volume of gas trapped in a particular segment of the intestine. ...
... Consequently, this physiological mechanism may facilitate the positive results correlated with PDX intake in the improvement of bowel function, e.g. alleviating constipation and producing smoother stools in humans (Röytiö & Ouwehand, 2014). ...
Introduction: Indonesians have a low intake of dietary fibre, a key component for an increased incidence in constipation. Available data have documented the benefits of polydextrose (PDX) in healthy subjects. However, data on constipated subjects are lacking. This study aimed to investigate the effect of consuming a PDX (prebiotic) beverage on bowel habits and gastrointestinal symptoms of constipated subjects over seven days. Methods: This was a randomised, non-blinded, nonplacebo-controlled parallel design study involving 24 subjects, divided equally into two groups. Group A (active control group) consisted of 12 subjects, consuming one serving size of 6g PDX beverage. While Group B (intervention group) consisted of 12 subjects, consuming two servings of the same product, containing 12g PDX beverage. Changes in bowel habits (constipation score, stool frequency and stool consistency) and gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence) were monitored. Results: Within seven days, Group B showed 4.9% more reduction in overall constipation mean score than that of Group A. Positive improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms were reported: i.e. abdominal pain (∆M = -0.08±0.43), bloating (∆M = -0.29±0.37) and flatulence (∆M = -0.17±0.47). Majority of subjects had desirable stool frequency (87.5%, >3 defecations/week) and stool consistency (58.3%, type 4). These improvements were due to the fact that PDX provides physiological effects consistent with prebiotic fibre, which alters the gut microbiota composition during the fermentation cycle in the large intestine. Conclusion: Findings of this study suggested that daily PDX beverage consumption effectively improved bowel habits, with fewer constipated subjects reporting of gastrointestinal symptoms.
... Similarly, administration of 12.5 g of a specific dietary fiber supplement, comprising more than 90% polydextrose, did not impact cortisol response to a similar acute stress task (58). Due to its complex structure, polydextrose is only partially and gradually fermented in the large intestine (59); however, serum SCFAs were not quantified in this study. To the best of our knowledge, only one other study found that administration of breakfast cereal with WB exhibited positive effects on mood and lowered self-reported stress and mental fatigue (60). ...
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Background Incorporation of wheat bran (WB) into food products increases intake of dietary fiber, which has been associated with improved mood and cognition and a lower risk for psychiatric disorders such as depression, with short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as candidate mediators of these effects. Modifying WB using extrusion cooking increases SCFA production in vitro relative to unmodified WB. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of extruded WB on psychobiological functioning and the mediating role of SCFAs. Methods In a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 69 healthy male participants consumed 55 g of breakfast cereal containing either extruded WB or placebo daily for 28 days. At pre- and post-intervention visits, the cortisol response to experimentally induced stress was measured as a primary outcome. In addition, serum SCFAs and brain-derived neurotrophic factors were quantified as potential mediators. Secondary psychobiological outcomes included subjective stress responses, responses to experimentally induced fear, cortisol awakening response, heart rate variability, and retrospective subjective mood ratings. Intestinal permeability, fecal SCFAs, and stool consistency were measured as secondary biological outcomes. Results Extruded WB increased serum acetate and butyrate ( p < 0.05). None of the primary or secondary outcomes were affected by the intervention. Participants who consumed a placebo exhibited an increase in the percentage of fecal dry weight but did not report increased constipation. Despite these statistically significant effects, these changes were small in magnitude. Conclusions Extruded WB consumption increased serum short-chain fatty acids but did not modulate psychobiological functions in healthy men. Effective modulation of psychobiological functions may require greater increases in SCFAs than those achieved following extruded WB consumption. Rather than attempting to induce health benefits with a single fiber-rich food, combinations of different fibers, particularly highly fermentable ones, might be needed to further increase SCFA production and uptake in the systemic circulation to observe an effect on psychobiological processes.
... SCFAs are produced from non-digestible polysaccharides by gut microbes 64 . SCFAs can also alter the composition of the microbiota 65,66 . The most well-known SCFAs are acetate acid, butyrate acid, propionate acid, and lactate acid. ...
Full-text available
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is one of the most commonly performed clinical bariatric surgeries for the remission of obesity and diabetes. Its effects include weight loss, improved insulin resistance, and the improvement of hepatic steatosis. Epidemiologic studies demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is associated with many diseases, including obesity. To explore the role of vitamin D in metabolic disorders for patients with obesity after VSG. We established a murine model of diet-induced obesity + VDD, and we performed VSGs to investigate VDD's effects on the improvement of metabolic disorders present in post-VSG obese mice. We observed that in HFD mice, the concentration of VitD3 is four fold of HFD + VDD one. In the post-VSG obese mice, VDD attenuated the improvements of hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, intestinal inflammation and permeability, the maintenance of weight loss, the reduction of fat loss, and the restoration of intestinal flora that were weakened. Our results suggest that in post-VSG obese mice, maintaining a normal level of vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining the improvement of metabolic disorders.
... The supplementation of the WD with PDX added an indigestible polysaccharide, with fiber-like and prebiotic characteristics 9 , and its fermentation in the colon produces SCFAs, especially acetate, butyrate, and propionate 10,22,23 that can be absorbed into blood circulation 10 . PDX provides a saccharolytic, fermentable substrate throughout the colon, from proximal to distal, which has been suggested to direct fermentation toward the formation of SCFAs, instead of towards the metabolites generated during protein fermentation, such as branched-chain fatty acids, ammonia, phenol compounds, indole, cresol, and hydrogen sulfide 23 . The site of fermentation might also be important, as distal but not proximal colonic acetate infusions have been shown to promote fat oxidation and improve metabolic markers in overweight or obese men 24 . ...
Full-text available
Polydextrose (PDX) is a branched glucose polymer, utilized as a soluble dietary fiber. Recently, PDX was found to have hypolipidemic effects and effects on the gut microbiota. To investigate these findings more closely, a non-targeted metabolomics approach, was exploited to determine metabolic alterations in blood and epididymal adipose tissue samples that were collected from C57BL/6 mice fed with a Western diet, with or without oral administration of PDX. Metabolomic analyses revealed significant differences between PDX- and control mice, which could be due to differences in diet or due to altered microbial metabolism in the gut. Some metabolites were found in both plasma and adipose tissue, such as the bile acid derivative deoxycholic acid and the microbiome-derived tryptophan metabolite indoxyl sulfate, both of which increased by PDX. Additionally, PDX increased the levels of glycine betaine and l-carnitine in plasma samples, which correlated negatively with plasma TG and positively correlated with bacterial genera enriched in PDX mice. The results demonstrated that PDX caused differential metabolite patterns in blood and adipose tissues and that one-carbon metabolism, associated with glycine betaine and l-carnitine, and bile acid and tryptophan metabolism are associated with the hypolipidemic effects observed in mice that were given PDX.
... However, a frequently reported behavior is the low capacity or inability of lactobacilli to use polydextrose (Mäkeläinen, Saarinen, Stowell, Rautonen, & Ouwehand, 2010;Watson et al., 2013;Zago et al., 2011), a fact corroborated by the findings reported herein, for both L. rhamnosus 64 and L. paracasei LP11. Polydextrose presents a complex structure, and is difficult and slow to degrade, requiring the performance of several intestinal microbiota microorganisms to promote at least partial molecular degradation (Röytiö & Ouwehand, 2014). Although results from in vitro tests with isolated probiotic microorganisms are not successful in terms of the ability to use polydextrose, it is important to note that some clinical studies have confirmed the ability of this prebiotic to beneficially modulate intestinal microbiota (Costabile et al., 2012;Hooda et al., 2012;Jie et al., 2000;Lamichhane et al., 2014). ...
... Hi-Maize® 260 is a type 2 RS, containing 46 % RS, that is highly fermentable and produces relatively large amounts of butyrate when compared with other RS-rich forms of highamylose maize starches (5) . PD is a glucose polymer, produced from sorbitol, dextrose and citric acid, of which up to 50 % is fermentable (3,6) . ...
Full-text available
There is strong evidence that foods containing dietary fibre protect against colorectal cancer (CRC), resulting at least in part from its anti-proliferative properties. This study aimed to investigate the effects of supplementation with two non-digestible carbohydrates, resistant starch (RS) and polydextrose (PD), on crypt cell proliferative state (CCPS) in the macroscopically-normal rectal mucosa of healthy individuals. We also investigated relationships between expression of regulators of apoptosis and of the cell cycle on markers of CCPS. 75 healthy participants were supplemented with RS and/or PD or placebo for 50 days in a 2 x 2 factorial design in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (the Dietary Intervention, Stem cells and Colorectal Cancer (DISC) Study). CCPS was assessed and the expression of regulators of the cell cycle and of apoptosis was measured by quantitative PCR in rectal mucosal biopsies. SCFA concentrations were quantified in faecal samples collected pre- and post-intervention. Supplementation with RS increased the total number of mitotic cells within the crypt by 60% (p=0.001) compared with placebo. This effect was limited to older participants (aged ≥50). No other differences were observed for the treatments with PD or RS as compared to their respective controls. PD did not influence any of the measured variables. RS, however, increased cell proliferation in the crypts of the macroscopically-normal rectum of older adults. Our findings suggest that the effects of RS on CCPS are not only dose, type of RS and health status-specific, but are also influenced by age.
Nowadays the functional ice cream production keeps developing. Due to that the traditional composition of the ice cream is amended. In case of substitution of the low molecular weight nutrients (sucrose, lactose and mineral salts of dry skimmed milk residue) with technologically functional nutrients, it changes the cryoscopic temperature, which influences the parameters of production process, in particular the temperature of the ice cream getting from the freezer. In this regard, the problem of calculating the cryoscopic temperature of ice cream mixtures has become acute, since it is not possible to find this parameter experimentally at all food enterprises. While calculating the cryoscopic temperatures on the basis of existing reference data, in some cases the authors encountered a significant (more than 0.5 °C) deviation of the calculation results from the experimental data. In order to establish the cause of these deviations, the authors analyzed aqueous solutions of sucrose, fructose, trehalose, erythritol, maltodextrin, polydextrose, sorbitol, glucose-fructose syrup, dry glucose syrup, inulin in concentrations that provide for the cryoscopic temperatures of solutions within the range from 0 °C to minus 6 °C. The cryoscopic temperature of the solutions was measured by an osmometer-cryoscope, and the conventional molecular weight of the substances was calculated on the basis of Raoult ratio, taking into account the high molecular weight substances and admixed impurities. It was shown that the values of the conventional molecular weight for trehalose and sorbitol solutions differ by more than 15% from the values of chemically pure substances due to presence of low molecular weight monomers in their composition. The presented experimental data on the conventional molecular weight values can be used for calculation of cryoscopic temperature of various types of mixtures used for ice cream production. As an example of application of obtained clarified values of conventional molecular weights, this article provides a method for calculation of cryoscopic temperature of low sucrose and sucrose-free ice cream mixtures, as well as a comparison of the calculation results with experimentally obtained data.
The demand for ultra-processed food products is directly related to people's rapidly changing habits and diet. This transition and the associated detrimental health issues have triggered global health authorities to raise the concern of increasing more fibre, physiologically functional foods, and ingredients into western diets. Human endogenous enzymes can readily digest ultra-processed starch-containing foods; hence, they are highly glycemic and associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the development of starch-based food ingredients with a low glycemic response is deemed necessary. Starch-derived ingredients, including: polydextrose(PD), resistant dextrins and maltodextrins (RMD), cyclodextrins (CD), Isomaltooligosaccharides (IMO) and resistant starch (RS), have been heavily investigated for their health benefits and various health claims were approved promoting their use in many food applications. These ingredients are either chemically (PD and RS-IV) or enzymatically produced (CD, RMD, and IMO). This review focuses on the various production processes of these novel ingredients, food applications, glycemic response roles, and a commercial overview of available brands. Enzymatically produced starch-ingredients proved functional, promoting their extensive future application since consumers prefer safely produced ingredients to be incorporated into their diet.
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This opinion deals with the re-evaluation of polydextrose (E 1200) when used as a food additive. The Panel followed the conceptual framework for the risk assessment of certain additives and considered that: adequate exposure estimates were available; the margin of safety (MOS)/margin of exposure (MOE) for arsenic was between 0.5-14 and 8.5 for lead; the exhaustions of the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) for cadmium would be 165%, 10% for mercury, whereas the exhaustion of the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for nickel would be 9%; the absorption is limited and part of polydextrose is fermented in the large intestine into short-chain fatty acids (SCFA); adequate toxicity data were available; there is no concern with respect to genotoxicity; no adverse effects were reported in subchronic studies in rats, dogs or monkeys nor in chronic or carcinogenicity studies in mice and rats at the highest doses tested of up 12,500 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day and 15,000 mg/kg bw per day, respectively; the nephrocalcinosis in dogs given high doses of polydextrose was considered to be a treatment-related but a secondary effect related to diarrhoea, and hence not relevant for the risk assessment; no adverse effects were reported in reproductive or developmental toxicity studies in rats administered up to 10,000 mg polydextrose/kg bw per day, or in a developmental toxicity study in rabbits up to 1,818 mg/kg bw per day (the highest dose tested). Therefore, the Panel concluded that there is no need for numerical acceptable daily intake (ADI) for polydextrose (E 1200), and that there is no safety concern for the reported uses and use levels of polydextrose as a food additive. The Panel recommended that European Commission considers to lower the maximum limit for lead and to introduce limits for arsenic, cadmium and mercury in the EU specifications for polydextrose (E 1200), and to verify that polydextrose-N as a food additive (E 1200) is no longer marketed in the EU.
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Dietary fiber has well-established beneficial effects on laxation. Many fibers have been developed with positive sensory properties and 2 such fibers are polydextrose (PDX) and soluble corn fiber (SCF), which can be added to many commercially produced products. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study comparing the laxative effects of PDX and SCF at a dose of 20 g/d with a low fiber control (LFC) eaten daily as a muffin and cereal in 36 healthy men and women. Each treatment period was 10 d with a 2-wk washout period between. Participants collected fecal samples during the last 5 d of each treatment and completed food diaries and gastrointestinal tolerance questionnaires on d 1, 2, and 10 of each treatment period. Five-day fecal wet weight was higher after the PDX and SCF treatments than the LFC treatment (P ≤ 0.0007). The number of stools per day and daily fecal output also were significantly greater during the PDX treatment compared with the LFC treatment. The whole gut transit time did not differ among treatments. The PDX treatment resulted in a softer stool (P = 0.002) than the SCF and LFC treatments. Fecal pH was lowered by the PDX treatment (P = 0.02), whereas SCF tended to lower it compared with the LFC treatment (P = 0.07). When the participants consumed PDX and SCF, they reported significantly more flatulence and borborygmi compared with when they consumed the LFC. Consumption of PDX and SCF at a dose of 20 g/d results in a mild laxative effect with nominal gastrointestinal tolerance issues.
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The relative contribution of novel fibers such as polydextrose and soluble corn fiber (SCF) to the human gut microbiome and its association with host physiology has not been well studied. This study was conducted to test the impact of polydextrose and SCF on the composition of the human gut microbiota using 454 pyrosequencing and to identify associations among fecal microbiota and fermentative end-products. Healthy adult men (n = 20) with a mean dietary fiber (DF) intake of 14 g/d were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Participants consumed 3 treatment snack bars/d during each 21-d period that contained no supplemental fiber (NFC), polydextrose (PDX; 21 g/d), or SCF (21 g/d) for 21 d. There were no washout periods. Fecal samples were collected on d 16-21 of each period; DNA was extracted, followed by amplification of the V4-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene using barcoded primers. PDX and SCF significantly affected the relative abundance of bacteria at the class, genus, and species level. The consumption of PDX and SCF led to greater fecal Clostridiaceae and Veillonellaceae and lower Eubacteriaceae compared with a NFC. The abundance of Faecalibacterium, Phascolarctobacterium, and Dialister was greater (P < 0.05) in response to PDX and SCF intake, whereas Lactobacillus was greater (P < 0.05) only after SCF intake. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, well known for its antiinflammatory properties, was greater (P < 0.05) after fiber consumption. Principal component analysis clearly indicated a distinct clustering of individuals consuming supplemental fibers. Our data demonstrate a beneficial shift in the gut microbiome of adults consuming PDX and SCF, with potential application as prebiotics.
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Synbiotics are used to manipulate the endogenous microbiota, but whether they are more effective than the constituting pro- and prebiotics alone remains to be determined. The objective of this work was to evaluate galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS), polydextrose (PDX) and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 alone and in combinations in a simulated human colon model Their effects on the microbial community structure and activity were analysed with flow cytometry, qPCR and chromatographic methods. Probiotic B. lactis was bifidogenic, but had only minor effects on the metabolites produced in the colon model Prebiotic GOS increased the bifidobacteria, whereas PDX had negative effects on the B. lactis and Clostridium numbers. The prebiotics differed in their effects on the metabolite production. Synbiotic GOS+B lactis increased the levels of Bifidobacterium and decreased the numbers of Lactobacillus, Bacteroides and Clostridia, and thus, had more effects on the microbial community structure than the constituting components alone. Also the combination of PDX+GOS+B. lactis had similar beneficial effects on the microbiota and in addition, the two oligosaccharides benefited the production of short-chain fatty acids on the whole length of the colonic model. In this study, the synbiotics including GOS were more effective than the constituting pro- or prebiotics alone in modulating the microbiota composition.
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Interest in how the gut microbiome can influence the metabolic state of the host has recently heightened. One postulated link is bacterial fermentation of "indigestible" prebiotics to short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which in turn modulate the release of gut hormones controlling insulin release and appetite. We show here that SCFAs trigger secretion of the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 from mixed colonic cultures in vitro. Quantitative PCR revealed enriched expression of the SCFA receptors ffar2 (grp43) and ffar3 (gpr41) in GLP-1-secreting L cells, and consistent with the reported coupling of GPR43 to Gq signaling pathways, SCFAs raised cytosolic Ca2+ in L cells in primary culture. Mice lacking ffar2 or ffar3 exhibited reduced SCFA-triggered GLP-1 secretion in vitro and in vivo and a parallel impairment of glucose tolerance. These results highlight SCFAs and their receptors as potential targets for the treatment of diabetes.
Polydextrose (PDX) is a highly branched, randomly bonded glucose polymer which is not digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract, but is slowly fermented throughout the colon. It has been widely acknowledged as a soluble fibre, and human clinical, animal and in vitro studies have all demonstrated physiological effects associated with this feature. These effects include improving gut health, reducing glycaemic impact and inducing satiety (1–3). The high tolerance and technological properties of PDX allow the development of food products with a variety of nutritional improvements without compromising taste and texture profile.
High-fibre diets offer several beneficial health effects. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether replacement of 30 % of the available carbohydrates with polydextrose (PDX) or soluble maize fibre (SCF) at breakfast and lunch would result in an increased fat oxidation rate and satiety, which may be of relevance for body weight control and diabetes prevention. In a single-blind, randomised cross-over study, eighteen overweight men and women underwent four different dietary interventions, which consisted of a PDX diet, a SCF diet and two control diets (full energetic and isoenergetic, comparable with PDX with respect to g or energy percentage of macronutrients, respectively). Glycaemic profile, energy expenditure and substrate oxidation were measured for 24 h in a respiration chamber. Circulating insulin, NEFA and TAG concentrations were determined over a 14 h period during daytime. Appetite ratings were assessed using visual analogue scales. The replacement of available carbohydrates with PDX or SCF reduced the peak glucose response, which was accompanied by reduced postprandial insulin responses. Moreover, higher concentrations of circulating NEFA were observed after consumption of both fibre diets, which were accompanied by an increased fat oxidation over 24 h. This effect was mainly attributed to the lower energetic value of the fibre diets and not to the fibres per se. Besides increasing fat oxidation, PDX exerted a pronounced suppressive effect on appetite ratings. The replacement of available carbohydrates with PDX may be of special interest because of its beneficial effects on metabolic profile and it may affect body weight control in the long term.
Previous studies have reported that polydextrose can reduce food intake; however, the optimal dose required to achieve this effect is currently unknown. The present study investigated the effects of consuming a range of doses of polydextrose on appetite and energy intake (EI) using a randomised within-subject, cross-over design. For this purpose, twenty-one participants (n 12 men, n 9 women) consumed an 837 kJ liquid preload containing 0 g (control), 6·3, 12·5 or 25 g polydextrose. Subjective appetite ratings were collected using visual analogue scales and an ad libitum test meal was served 90 min later. Participants recorded EI for the remainder of the day in a food diary. Test meal EI following the control preload (5756 (sem 423) kJ) was significantly higher than following the 6·3 g (5048 (sem 384) kJ), 12·5 g (4722 (sem 384) kJ) and 25 g (4362 (sem 316) kJ) preloads (P< 0·05), and EI following the 6·3 g preload was significantly higher than following the 25 g preload (P< 0·01). There were no differences in self-reported EI during the remainder of the day between the preloads containing the varying doses of polydextrose. Total EI (breakfast+preload+ad libitum test meal+remainder of the day) was significantly higher when the control preload was consumed (12 051 (sem 805) kJ) compared with either the 12·5 g (10 854 (sem 589) kJ) or 25 g (10 658 (sem 506) kJ) preload (P< 0·05). These differences in EI were not accompanied by corresponding differences in subjective appetite ratings. In summary, polydextrose effectively reduces subsequent EI in a dose-dependent manner.
Polydextrose (Litesse®, DuPont) is a polysaccharide that is partially fermented in the colon. Evidence suggests that polydextrose increases satiety when consumed over several weeks; however studies assessing its acute effects on satiety are lacking. This study therefore aimed to assess the impact of different doses of polydextrose on satiety and energy intake at subsequent meals during a test day. Three yogurt-based drinks containing different amounts of polydextrose (0, 6.25 and 12.5g) were tested using a randomised, single-blinded, placebo controlled, cross-over design. Thirty-four healthy male and female volunteers were provided with a standard breakfast, then consumed the test product mid-morning, 90min before an ad libitum lunch, which was followed by an ad libitum dinner. Visual analogue scales were used to measure subjective ratings of appetite, liking and discomfort. Consuming 6.25 and 12.5g polydextrose increased satiety and decreased appetite compared to control immediately after consumption. A reduction in energy intake (218.8kJ) at lunchtime was observed for 12.5g polydextrose. This reduction in energy intake was not compensated for at dinner. This study suggests that polydextrose may aid in increasing satiety feelings post consumption and also reduce energy intake as a result.
Purpose: Polydextrose is a low-calorie highly branched-chain glucose polymer that is poorly digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract and therefore demonstrates fibre-like properties. Fibre has been shown to increase satiety and possibly reduce food intake. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to examine the effects of polydextrose on short-term satiety and energy intake. Methods: In a repeated-measures randomized blind cross-over design, 26 healthy males consumed a 400-g fruit smoothie containing 12 g (3 %) of polydextrose, and a buffet lunch 60 min after the smoothie. Motivational ratings for satiety and palatability and lunch energy intake were measured. The effects of the polydextrose-containing smoothie were compared against a polydextrose-free control smoothie. Results: Polydextrose did not significantly alter the taste and palatability of the fruit smoothie. Consuming the polydextrose-containing smoothie resulted in a significantly lower energy intake at lunch (102 kcal less) compared to the control. Conclusion: Polydextrose may be a good fortificant for reducing short-term food intake.
Unlabelled: Age-related changes in calcium metabolism play a role in the development of osteoporosis. A 4-wk feeding study was conducted in 5-mo-old ovariectomized (OVX) Sprague-Dawley rats to assess the effect of various dietary fibers on mineral metabolism and bone health parameters. There were 6 treatment groups: sham-Control, OVX-Control, OVX rats receiving daily estradiol (E₂) injections, and OVX rats receiving an AIN-93M diet supplement with either an inulin-based fiber (Synergy1® or Fruitafit HD®) or a novel fiber (polydextrose) at 5% wt. of diet. Calcium and magnesium metabolic balances were performed after early (3 d) and late exposure (4 wk) to dietary treatments. Rats receiving polydextrose had significantly higher net calcium absorption efficiency and retention than all control groups and a trend (P≤ 0.10) for higher calcium absorption when compared to inulin-based fibers after early exposure but the advantage did not persist over long-term exposure. The inulin-based fibers had positive chronic effects on calcium metabolism that were related to changes in the gut, that is, production of short chain fatty acids and higher cecal wall weights. All fibers improved magnesium absorption and retention in early and late metabolic balances; effects on magnesium metabolism were more pronounced than for calcium. Practical application: Steady growth in US middle-aged and elderly populations has led to higher incidences of several chronic diseases including osteoporosis, a bone disease that primarily affects postmenopausal women. Recent research suggests that certain dietary fibers (prebiotics) enhance mineral absorption and may impart bone health benefits. This work examines the impact of prebiotic supplementation on mineral metabolism and bone health using a postmenopausal rat model. Study findings will aid future investigations in ascertaining the factors related to potential bone health benefits of prebiotic which will aid in developing an effective prebiotics food product/supplement that will address the bone health needs of consumers.