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Effect of banana consumption on faecal microbiota: A randomised, controlled trial

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Abstract

Banana is a widely consumed fruit, which contains considerable amounts of potential prebiotic indigestible carbohydrates. In our randomised, controlled trial we aimed to evaluate the in vivo prebiotic effect of banana consumption on faecal microbiota. Thirty-four healthy women participated in the study, having Body Mass Index (BMI) 24-30 kg/m(2), age 19-45 years, without history of gastrointestinal disease and no antibiotic and other medication use two months prior the initiation and during the study. All women were asked to maintain their usual dietary habits for 60 days and they were randomly assigned to consume twice a day a pre-meal snack, either one medium banana, or one cup of banana-flavoured drink or one cup of water (control group). Stool samples were collected at baseline, on days 30 and 60 of intervention for enumeration of total anaerobes, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli by plate count techniques, as well as for pH and short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) measurement. Gastrointestinal symptoms were also recorded. Mean bifidobacterial levels were increased only in the banana group both at 30 and 60 days of intervention, but this change did not reach a statistical significance. No significant overall differences in the total concentrations and molar ratios of SCFAs were detected according to dietary intervention. Analysis of the gastrointestinal symptoms records revealed significantly lower bloating levels in the banana group, compared to controls, at 26-35 days (p = 0.009) and 51-60 days (p = 0.010). Banana consumption had also no adverse effects on evacuation patterns. We concluded that daily consumption of bananas is a well-tolerated eating behaviour, which may induce bifidogenesis in healthy women experiencing body weight problems.

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... The interventions varied and included fruit (n = 1), herbal and fruit extracts (n = 4), thylakoids (n = 1), and different kinds of fibers (n = 6) (very long chain inulin, glucomannan, mucilage, galactooligosaccharide, inulin-type fructans, arabinoxylans). [21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33] The herbal products had diverse effects on microbial phylum in gut microbiota, although most of the trials showed an increase in the Actinobacteria phylum, as Bifidobacterium spp. enriched after intervention in 7 studies. ...
... enriched after intervention in 7 studies. 21,22,[24][25][26]29,32,33 Interventions exerted inconsistent impacts on Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes abundances. Firmicutes was decreased after the intake of Schisandra chinensis or Rehmannia glutinosa extracts, 26,33 although this phylum showed no changes after Bofutsushosan and Arabinoxylan intakes. ...
Article
Objectives: The gut dysbiosis has been implicated as a mediator to obesity and its manipulation could be an appropriate approach to sustainable weight loss. In this systematic review, our primary objective was to assess the potential manipulation of gut microbiota by herbal products in obesity. Materials and methods: We did a comprehensive search in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and Cochrane databases for all clinical trials and animal studies exploring the effects of various herbal products on gut microbiota composition in obesity documented up to May 2017. Results: Our initial search yielded 2766 articles. After screening abstracts and full texts, 68 articles were included (55 animal studies and 13 clinical trials). The studies differed in their methodologies, type of interventions and intervention lengths. The weight loss was only reported in 23% of trials and in 64% of animal studies. An increasing tendency in Bifidobacterium species and butyrate-producing bacteria such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii were observed after consuming non-digestible carbohydrates, although these changes did not always correlate with weight loss. Supplementation with high concentration of polyphenols reduced body weight gain in animal studies and inhibited growth of detrimental species such as Clostridia and Enterobacteria while the growth of Lactic acid bacteria and Akkermansia muciniphila is enriched. Conclusions: Alteration of gut microbiota after interventions has been affected by the baseline composition of gut microbiota. This systematic review shows that consumption of herbal products might have beneficial effects on restoring healthy gut microbiome besides body fat reduction.
... A maize-based whole grain breakfast cereal mediated a bifidogenic modulation of the gut microbiota, suggesting prebiotic activity [47]. Mitsou et al. [48] measured the effect of banana consumption (2 per day) on microbiota. Increases in bifidobacteria were noted, although the study used plate counting as the method to measure bifidobacteria. ...
Article
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The health benefits of dietary fiber have long been appreciated. Higher intakes of dietary fiber are linked to less cardiovascular disease and fiber plays a role in gut health, with many effective laxatives actually isolated fiber sources. Higher intakes of fiber are linked to lower body weights. Only polysaccharides were included in dietary fiber originally, but more recent definitions have included oligosaccharides as dietary fiber, not based on their chemical measurement as dietary fiber by the accepted total dietary fiber (TDF) method, but on their physiological effects. Inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides, and other oligosaccharides are included as fiber in food labels in the US. Additionally, oligosaccharides are the best known "prebiotics", "a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-bring and health." To date, all known and suspected prebiotics are carbohydrate compounds, primarily oligosaccharides, known to resist digestion in the human small intestine and reach the colon where they are fermented by the gut microflora. Studies have provided evidence that inulin and oligofructose (OF), lactulose, and resistant starch (RS) meet all aspects of the definition, including the stimulation of Bifidobacterium, a beneficial bacterial genus. Other isolated carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing foods, including galactooligosaccharides (GOS), transgalactooligosaccharides (TOS), polydextrose, wheat dextrin, acacia gum, psyllium, banana, whole grain wheat, and whole grain corn also have prebiotic effects.
... Thus, prebiotics may prevent HF diet-induced modifications to the gut microbiota, promote SCFA production, and enhance gut homeostasis. Whereas most studies have concentrated on the impact of isolated fiber as a prebiotic, only a few studies have shown that whole foods, such as maize, whole wheat, bananas, and mangoes, may also show prebiotic properties (21)(22)(23)(24). Therefore, investigating whole foods that modulate the gut microbiota and immune cells may be an important approach in preventing the detrimental effects of Western diets. ...
Article
Background: A link between high-fat diet consumption and obesity-related diseases is the disruption of the gut bacterial population, which promotes local and systemic inflammation. Wheat germ (WG) is rich in bioactive components with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of WG supplementation in modulating the gut bacterial population and local and systemic inflammatory markers of mice fed a high-fat, high-sucrose (HFS) diet. Methods: Six-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to 4 groups (n = 12/group) and fed a control (C; 10% kcal fat, 10% kcal sucrose) or HFS (60% kcal fat, 20% kcal sucrose) diet with or without 10% WG (wt:wt) for 12 wk. Cecal bacteria was assessed via 16S rDNA sequencing, fecal short-chain fatty acids by GC, small intestinal CD4+ lymphocytes using flow cytometry, and gut antimicrobial peptide genes and inflammatory markers by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Statistical analyses included Kruskal-Wallis/Dunn's test and 2-factor ANOVA using HFS and WG as factors. Results: There was a 4-fold increase (P = 0.007) in the beneficial bacterial family, Lactobacillaceae, in the HFS + WG compared with the HFS group. Fecal propionic and n-butyric acids were elevated at least 2-fold in C + WG compared with the other groups (P < 0.0001). WG tended to increase (≥7%; P-trend = 0.12) small intestinal regulatory T cell:Th17 ratio, indicating a potential to induce an anti-inflammatory gut environment. WG elevated (≥35%) ileal gene expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine Il10 compared to the unsupplemented groups (P = 0.038). Ileal gene expression of the antimicrobial peptides Reg3b and Reg3g was upregulated (≥95%) in the HFS + WG compared with other groups (P ≤ 0.040). WG reduced serum concentrations of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-1B, IL-6, interferon-γ, and tumor necrosis factor-α (≥17%; P ≤ 0.012). Conclusions: WG selectively increased gut Lactobacillaceae, upregulated ileal antimicrobial peptides, and attenuated circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines of C57BL/6 mice fed a HFS diet. These changes may be vital in preventing HFS diet-induced comorbidities.
... Interestingly, operational taxonomic units (OTU), which were increased during the intervention period, showed a higher capacity for the production of butyrate. Other studies investigated the influence of apples (40), bananas (41), and almonds (42) on human gut bacteria. But as these studies investigated only targeted bacteria they are not considered in this review. ...
Article
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In the human gut, millions of bacteria contribute to the microbiota, whose composition is specific for every individual. Although we are just at the very beginning of understanding the microbiota concept, we already know that the composition of the microbiota has a profound impact on human health. A key factor in determining gut microbiota composition is diet. Preliminary evidence suggests that dietary patterns are associated with distinct combinations of bacteria in the intestine, also called enterotypes. Western diets result in significantly different microbiota compositions than traditional diets. It is currently unknown which food constituents specifically promote growth and functionality of beneficial bacteria in the intestine. The aim of this review is to summarize the recently published evidence from human in vivo studies on the gut microbiota-modulating effects of diet. It includes sections on dietary patterns (e.g. Western diet), whole foods, food constituents, as wells as food-associated microbes and their influence on the composition of human gut microbiota. The conclusions highlight the problems faced by scientists in this fast-developing field of research, and the need for high-quality, large-scale human dietary intervention studies.
... According Mitsou et al. (2011), banana has considerable amounts of prebiotic fructooligosaccharides, which can contribute to the viability and persistence of L. rhamnosus HN001 in fruit salad. Thus, we verified that banana has potential to serve as a probiotic carrier. ...
Article
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Abstract This work aimed to study the use of fruit salads as carriers for Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001. We evaluated the viability of this probiotic in fruit salads and the phsyico-chemical, microbiological and sensory properties of this food. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to verify microorganism adhesion on the fruit tissues. The viability of L. rhamnosus in fruit salads was 8.49 log CFU.g-1 after 120 hours. SEM images showed that fruit tissue provided protection for probiotic. Adhesion sites were observed in higher quantity in banana, apple and guava. The addition of L. rhamnosus did not alter texture of fruits (p > 0.05). Fruit salads containing probiotic had different values of pH and acidity compared to the control (p < 0.05). Ascorbic acid content decreased over time; however, total carotenoids did not significantly decrease (p > 0.05). Fruit salads containing L. rhamnosus showed counts of psychotrophic microorganisms of at least 2.0 log CFU.g-1 lower than control salad after 120 h of refrigerated storage. The fruit salad was well accepted by consumers. Therefore, this product can be used as a carrier for probiotic and an alternative to consuming functional foods.
... Thirty-four healthy women having Body Mass Index (BMI) 24-30 kg/m, age 19-45 years, no history of gastrointestinal disease and no antibiotic and other medication participated in a controlled trial (54). All women were asked to maintain their usual dietary habits for 60 days and they were randomly assigned to consume twice a day a pre-meal snack, either one medium banana, or one cup of banana-flavoured drink or one cup of water (control group). ...
Article
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The gut microbiota is the set of symbiotic microrganism that resides in our intestine. The interaction between the gut microbiota and the mucosal immune system can be altered as a result of shifts in the composition or metabolic activity of the intestinal microflora. recent studies establish that diet is one of the main involved factors in determining the microbial composition of the gut suggesting its role as external factor able to promote the onset of specific diaseas by disrupting the immune homeostasis. Starting from the evidence that the 57% of the gut microbiota's entire variation are due to dietary alterations this review aims at provifding, an overview of the positive impoact of some dietary components on gut microbiota composition.
... Bifidogenic effects were also observed in a study where healthy adults consumed apples daily for 2 weeks 86 or in different study where bananas were consumed daily for 615 60 d. 87 Decreases in abundance of the Clostridium group were noted in studies supplementing rice bran, 46 chickpeas, 88 apples, 86 mushrooms 89 and low flavonoid fruit and vegetables. 90 In contrast, increased abundance of Clostridium was observed in one human 620 study supplementing wheat bran 53 after three weeks and another supplementing navy bean powder 46 after four weeks. ...
Article
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Emerging insights have implicated the gut microbiota as an important factor in the maintenance of human health. Although nutrition research has focused on how direct interactions between dietary components and host systems influence human health, it is becoming increasingly important to consider nutrient effects on the gut microbiome for a more complete picture. Understanding nutrient-host-microbiome interactions promises to reveal novel mechanisms of disease etiology and progression, offers new disease prevention strategies and therapeutic possibilities, and may mandate alternative criteria to evaluate the safety of food ingredients. Here we review the current literature on diet effects on the microbiome and the generation of microbial metabolites of dietary constituents that may influence human health. We conclude with a discussion of the relevance of these studies to nutrition and public health and summarize further research needs required to realize the potential of exploiting diet-microbiota interactions for improved health.
... Faecal SCFA concentrations were determined using capillary GC, as previously described (32) , after 1:3 dilution of frozen faecal samples (1·5 g, −80 o C) using 0·9 % saline. Faecal pH of fresh samples and stool moisture were also determined (33) . ...
Article
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This study aimed to explore the potential associations of adherence to the Mediterranean diet with gut microbiota characteristics and gastrointestinal symptomatology in an adult population. Other long-term dietary habits (e.g. consumption of snacks and junk food or stimulant intake) were also evaluated in terms of the gut microbiota profile. Participants ( n 120) underwent anthropometric, dietary, physical activity and lifestyle evaluation. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed using a Mediterranean diet score, the MedDietScore, and subjects were classified into three tertiles according to individual adherence scoring. Gut microbiota composition was determined using quantitative PCR and plate-count techniques, and faecal SCFA were analysed using GC. Gastrointestinal symptoms were also evaluated. Participants with a high adherence to the Mediterranean diet had lower Escherichia coli counts ( P =0·022), a higher bifidobacteria: E. coli ratio ( P =0·025), increased levels and prevalence of Candida albicans ( P =0·039 and P =0·050, respectively), greater molar ratio of acetate ( P =0·009), higher defaecation frequency ( P =0·028) and a more pronounced gastrointestinal symptomatology compared with those reporting low adherence. A lower molar ratio of valerate was also observed in the case of high adherence to the Mediterranean diet compared with the other two tertiles ( Pfor trend =0·005). Positive correlations of MedDietScore with gastrointestinal symptoms, faecal moisture, total bacteria, bifidobacteria: E. coli ratio, relative share of Bacteroides, C. albicans and total SCFA, as well as negative associations with cultivable E. coli levels and valerate were indicated. Fast food consumption was characterised by suppressed representation of lactobacilli and butyrate-producing bacteria. In conclusion, our findings support a link between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and gut microbiota characteristics.
... For prunes, a dose-response parallel RCT (120 constipated adults; low fiber diets) found that ≥80 g prunes [6 g fiber]/d significantly increased Bifidobacteria and stool weight and frequency with trends for higher SCFAs levels and lower stool pH [53]. For bananas, four RCTs in adults and children found that bananas and banana flakes were significantly more effective in reducing chronic pathogenic bacterial diarrhea severity (e.g., severe Shigellosis dysentery, Clostridium difficile) compared to control food, rice-based diets or standard medical treatment [54][55][56][57]. For plantains, a RCT (80 infants and children with persistent pathogenic bacterial diarrhea) showed that cooked plantains significantly shortened average duration of diarrhea by 18 h compared to yogurt [58]. ...
Article
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Less than 10% of most Western populations consume adequate levels of whole fruits and dietary fiber with typical intake being about half of the recommended levels. Evidence of the beneficial health effects of consuming adequate levels of whole fruits has been steadily growing, especially regarding their bioactive fiber prebiotic effects and role in improved weight control, wellness and healthy aging. The primary aim of this narrative review article is to examine the increasing number of health benefits which are associated with the adequate intake of whole fruits, especially fruit fiber, throughout the human lifecycle. These potential health benefits include: protecting colonic gastrointestinal health (e.g., constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diverticular disease); promoting long-term weight management; reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome; defending against colorectal and lung cancers; improving odds of successful aging; reducing the severity of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; enhancing psychological well-being and lowering the risk of depression; contributing to higher bone mineral density in children and adults; reducing risk of seborrheic dermatitis; and helping to attenuate autism spectrum disorder severity. Low whole fruit intake represents a potentially more serious global population health threat than previously recognized, especially in light of the emerging research on whole fruit and fruit fiber health benefits.
... Similarly, in a randomized, controlled trial, banana consumption showed prebiotic effects. Mitsou et al. 22 found increased bifidobacterial populations in the fecal samples of subjects who consumed two bananas per day. In a study conducted on obese women, supplementation of inulin-type fructans was shown to alter the gut microbiota, which led to moderate changes in key metabolites associated with obesity and diabetes. ...
Chapter
Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that have beneficial effects on human health. Recently, these ingredients have garnered increasing attention, particularly for their role in feeding beneficial bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, synbiotic (combination of pre- and probiotics) approaches have been studied as therapeutic strategies in several clinical conditions and have shown the potential to improve host health. This chapter provides an overview of how prebiotics and synbiotics can modulate the gut microbiota within the context of disease prevention and the promotion of good health. The chapter also highlights the concerns regarding potential stimulating effect of prebiotics on other harmful bacteria. Full text available at : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128144688000120
... Depending on their degree of ripeness, bananas contain considerable amounts of indigestible carbohydrates, which could serve as prebiotic sources for the gut microflora. In one study [140], healthy women without history of gastrointestinal disease were asked to maintain their usual dietary habits for sixty days. ey were randomly assigned to consume twice a day a premeal snack, either one medium banana or one cup of banana-flavored drink or one cup of water (control group). ...
Article
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Over the past decades, thousands of published studies have amassed supporting recommendations to consume fruits and vegetables for physiological and psychological health. Newer research has emerged to suggest that these plant-based foods contain a plethora of not only vitamins and minerals, but perhaps, most importantly, phytonutrients. These phytonutrients have known pleiotropic effects on cellular structure and function, ultimately resulting in the modulation of protein kinases and subsequent epigenetic modification in a manner that leads to improved outcomes. Even though eating fruits and vegetables is a well-known feature of a healthy dietary pattern, population intakes continue to be below federal recommendations. To encourage consumers to include fruits and vegetables into their diet, an “eat by color” approach is proposed in this review. Although each individual food may have numerous effects based on its constituents, the goal of this simplified approach was to identify general patterns of benefits based on the preponderance of scientific data and known mechanisms of food-based constituents. It is suggested that such a consumer-oriented categorization of these plant-based foods may lead to greater recognition of their importance in the daily diet throughout the lifespan. Other adjunctive strategies to heighten awareness of fruits and vegetables are discussed.
... Similarly, in a randomized, controlled trial, banana consumption showed prebiotic effects. Mitsou et al. 22 found increased bifidobacterial populations in the fecal samples of subjects who consumed two bananas per day. In a study conducted on obese women, supplementation of inulin-type fructans was shown to alter the gut microbiota, which led to moderate changes in key metabolites associated with obesity and diabetes. ...
... Efectos bifidogénicos se han observado en adultos que consumieron manzanas (Shinohara et al., 2010) y bananas (Mitsou et al., 2011). La jalea de hipocolitos de maca (Lepidium meyenii) ejerció un efecto bifidogénico cuando se incorporó a yogur, por incrementos en los recuentos de Bifidobacterium bifidum (León-Marroú, 2011). ...
Article
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La dieta es un factor que impulsa la composición y el metabolismo de la microbiota intestinal, y los macronutrientes ejercen un gran impacto en la microbiota. Los carbohidratos no digeribles pueden producir marcados cambios en la microbiota intestinal, las fibras dietéticas son los principales impulsores de la composición y función de la microbiota intestinal, permiten estimular el predominio de una microbiota capaz de utilizar estos sustratos como fuente de energía, pero estos efectos dependen tanto del tipo de fibra como de la composición inicial de la microbiota intestinal de un individuo. El metabolismo proteico por la microbiota intestinal da como resultado productos adicionales, algunos de los cuales son potencialmente dañinos para la salud del huésped. Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes y Actinobacteria son los tres filos principales que habitan en el intestino grueso humano. El género Bacteroides se asocia con dietas basadas en carne, las familias Ruminococcaceae y Lachnospiraceae con dietas ricas en polisacáridos complejos de plantas y el género Prevotella con dietas altas en azúcar pero bajas en grasas y proteínas. La dieta puede usarse para modular la composición y el metabolismo de la microbiota intestinal. Una estrategia dietética para modular la microbiota es el consumo de fibra dietética y prebióticos. Esta revisión tiene como objetivo describir conocimiento sobre la microbiota intestinal, orientado hacia un uso de la dieta para proporcionar beneficios a la salud humana..
... Capillary gas chromatography (GC) was applied for the determination of the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) concentrations of the in vitro static batch cultures, according to Mountzouris, et al. [79], as previously described [80]. In detail, samples (1 mL) were centrifuged at 13.000× g for 15 min at 4 • C, and 300 µL of the supernatant were stored at −80 • C until analysis. ...
Article
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Alterations of gut microbiota are evident during the aging process. Prebiotics may restore the gut microbial balance, with β-glucans emerging as prebiotic candidates. This study aimed to investigate the impact of edible mushrooms rich in β-glucans on the gut microbiota composition and metabolites by using in vitro static batch culture fermentations and fecal inocula from elderly donors (n = 8). Pleurotus ostreatus, P. eryngii, Hericium erinaceus and Cyclocybe cylindracea mushrooms derived from various substrates were examined. Gut microbiota composition (quantitative PCR (qPCR)) and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs; gas chromatography (GC)) were determined during the 24-h fermentation. P. eryngii induced a strong lactogenic effect, while P. ostreatus and C. cylindracea induced a significant bifidogenic effect (p for all <0.05). Furthermore, P. eryngii produced on wheat straw and the prebiotic inulin had comparable Prebiotic Indexes, while P. eryngii produced on wheat straw/grape marc significantly increased the levels of tested butyrate producers. P. ostreatus, P. eryngii and C. cylindracea had similar trends in SCFA profile; H. erinaceus mushrooms were more diverse, especially in the production of propionate, butyrate and branched SCFAs. In conclusion, mushrooms rich in β-glucans may exert beneficial in vitro effects in gut microbiota and/or SCFAs production in elderly subjects.
... In a randomized controlled clinical trial on 34 healthy women, only the group treated with a pre-meal snack medium banana showed an increase in Bifidobacterium levels after 30 and 60 days of intervention. However, this effect was not statistically significant [73]. ...
Article
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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of complex chronic inflammatory conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract. It is linked to a number of genetic and environmental factors able to perturb the immune-microbiome axis. Diet is the most investigated variable both for its role in the etiology of IBD and for its beneficial potential in the treatment of the symptoms. Dietary products may influence intestinal inflammation through different mechanisms of action, such as the modulation of inflammatory mediators, the alteration of gene expression, changes in gut permeability, and modifications in enteric flora composition. A consisting number of studies deal with the link between nutrition and microbial community, and particular attention is paid to plant-based foods. The effects of the dietary intake of different fruits have been investigated so far. This review aims to present the most recent studies concerning the beneficial potential of fruit consumption on human gut microbiota. Investigated plant species are described, and obtained results are presented and discussed in order to provide an overview of both in vitro and in vivo effects of fruits, their juices, and freeze-dried powders.
... Banana contains prebiotic indigestible carbohydrates and increases the bifidobacterial levels of fecal microbiota. Consequently the pathogenic microbiota is downregulated [63]. Although thefruit is benign, oral cariogenic bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sorbinus, Lactobacillus spp. ...
... Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) concentrations of the in vitro static batch cultures were determined using capillary gas chromatography (GC), as previously described 54 ...
Article
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Recent data have highlighted the role of gut microbiota and of its several metabolites on bone health. Thus, gut microbiota manipulation, e.g., by prebiotics, might offer a plausible target in the fight against bone degenerative diseases. This study aimed (a) to investigate the in vitro prebiotic potential of Ganoderma lucidum and Pleurotus ostreatus mushrooms in healthy and osteopenic women and (b) to explore the impact of mushrooms fermentation products on human osteoblasts. G. lucidum LGAM 9720 and P. ostreatus IK 1123 lyophilized mushroom-powders (2% w/v) and their hot-water extracts (1% w/v) were fermented in a 24-h static batch culture model by using faecal inocula from healthy (n=3) or osteopenic (n=3) donors. Gut microbiota analysis (qPCR) and measurement of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) were performed during fermentation, and 24h-prebiotic indexes were calculated. Evaluation of fermentation product effects on bone metabolism parameters (OPG: Osteoprotegerin; RANKL: Receptor activator of Nuclear factor kappa B ligand) in osteoblast cultures was also performed. Our data suggest that the origin of the gut microbiota inoculum plays a major role in the viability of osteoblasts. The treatments using of P. ostreatus mushroom-powder and G. lucidum mushroom-extract had positive effects based on gut microbiota and SCFAs analysis. Both mushrooms exhibited lower RANKL levels compared to controls, whereas their extracts tended to enhance the osteoblastic activity. In conclusion, rich in beta-glucans mushrooms may exert beneficial in vitro effects on bone physiology by alterations in gut microbiota and/or SCFAs production.
... Namely, polyphenols found in strawberries have been reported to stimulate growth of commensal and probiotic bacteria while selectively inhibiting pathogen growth. 8 Previous diet intervention trials have investigated the consumption of various high polyphenol fruit, berry polyphenols, and berries on the human gut microbiota profile [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19] whereas studies that assess the impact of strawberry consumption on the gut have yet to be investigated. The effect of strawberry consumption on the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota in overweight postmenopausal women is currently unknown. ...
Article
The gut microbiota has been implicated in both health and disease. As such, diet is a significant determinant of gut health, whereby diet induced dysbiosis is associated with cardiometabolic risk. Interestingly, a higher proportion of Firmicutes and a lower proportion of Bacteroidetes are implicated in obesity. Strawberry polyphenols have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in addition to exhibiting prebiotic activity by increasing probiotic bacteria in the gut. Polyphenols have also been shown to reduce the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes. Therefore, dietary modifications such as strawberry consumption may help improve health outcomes through the gut. The objective of this study was to analyze whether 13 g freeze dried strawberry powder (~1 cup/d fresh) consumption reduces the Firmicutes:Bacteroidetes ratio and increases microbial diversity and beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. This study was a 5-week free-living diet intervention trial conducted at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with expansion to the Eye Medical Center of Fresno. Participants (n=10) had a mean age of 60.5 ± 9.13 years and had a mean body weight of 74.71 ± 10.61 kg. The participants completed a 3-week washout before a 2-week diet intervention. Participants maintained their normal diet throughout the study while eliminating foods high in polyphenols and probiotics. Upon completion of the study, no significant differences were found for body weight (p=0.22) or BMI (p=0.26). Likewise, no significant differences were found for macronutrient, vitamin, or mineral intake except for sugar (p=0.03), vitamin B12 (p=0.03), and fruit (p=0.0014). Bacteria abundance and diversity were not found to be statistically significant following intervention. Since strawberry supplementation was not associated with a significant change in the relative abundance of bacteria with the dose and duration administered, a randomized controlled trial would better determine the effect of strawberry consumption on gut health.
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Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) play a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis in humans, therefore the importance of a good and reliable SCFAs analytical detection has raised a lot in the past few years. The aim of this scoping review is to show the trends in the development of different methods of SCFAs analysis in feces, based on the literature published in the last eleven years in all major indexing databases. The search criteria included analytical quantification techniques of SCFAs in different human clinical and in vivo studies. SCFAs analysis is still predominantly performed using gas chromatography (GC), followed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and capillary electrophoresis (CE). Performances, drawbacks and advantages of these methods are discussed, especially in the light of choosing a proper pretreatment, as feces is a complex biological material. Further optimization to develop a simple, cost effective and robust method for routine use is needed.
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Bifidobacteria are gaining increasing interest as health-promoting bacteria. Nonetheless, the genus comprises several species, which can exert different effects on human host. Previous studies showed that wild blueberry drink consumption could selectively increase intestinal bifidobacteria, suggesting an important role for the polyphenols and fiber present in wild blueberries. In this study, we evaluated the modulation of the most common and abundant bifidobacterial taxonomic groups inhabiting the human gut in the same fecal samples. The analyses carried out showed that B. adolescentis, B. breve, B. catenulatum/pseudocatelulatum and B. longum subsp. longum were always present in the group of subjects enrolled, whereas B. bifidum and B. longum subsp. infantis were not. Furthermore, we found that the most predominant bifidobacterial species were B. longum subsp. longum and B. adolescentis. The results obtained revealed a high interindividual variability; however, a significant increase of B. longum subsp. infantis cell concentration was observed in the feces of volunteers after the wild blueberry drink treatment. This bifidobacterial group demonstrated to possess immunomodulatory abilities, and to relieve symptoms and promote the regression of several gastrointestinal disorders. Thus, an increased cell concentration of B. longum subsp. infantis in the human gut could be considered of potential health benefit. In conclusion, wild blueberry consumption resulted in a specific bifidogenic effect that could positively affect certain populations of bifidobacteria with demonstrated health-promoting properties.
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This study was performed in order to compare the changes in fruit quality and antioxidant activity depending on the ripeness degree of the banana flesh and peel (unripe, ripe, and over ripe) when stored at room temperature for 6 days. The moisture contents showed differences such as the significantly lower maturity in the over ripe fruit peel and the moisture content increase in the fruit flesh during ripening. During the maturity stage, the L and b values decreased, while the a value increased. During ripening, the titratable acidity (TA) decreased, while the soluble solids contents (SS), sugar acid ratio (SS/TA), total sugar, and reducing sugar contents increased, respectively. Also during ripening, the glucose and the fructose contents increased considerably, thus resulting in the decrease of the sucrose content. In addition, this study revealed that the phenolic substance, which was part of the fruit skin, showed more favorable reaction to radical ability than the fruit flesh. Furthermore, the DPPH, ABTS radical scavenging ability, and reducing power showed better reaction for the fruit skin than for the fruit flesh, and there was a significant increase in the antioxidative activity as a result of the higher levels of phenolic substance. Therefore, maturity played an important role in changing the chemical composition and physiological activity of a banana. The unripe peels could be used as antioxidant ingredients and they could also enhance the biological activity in the utilization of by-products.
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Gut microbes (GMs), dominated by bacteria, play important roles in many physiological processes. The structures and functions of GMs are closely related to human health, the occurrence and development of diseases and the rapid recovery of the body. Gastrointestinal cancers are the major diseases affecting human health worldwide. With the development of metagenomic technology and the wide application of new generation sequencing technology, a large number of studies suggest that complex GMs are related to the occurrence and development of gastrointestinal cancers. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and probiotics can treat and prevent the occurrence of gastrointestinal cancers. This article reviews the latest research progress of microbes in gastrointestinal cancers from the perspectives of the correlation, the influence mechanism and the application, so as to provide new directions for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers.
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Contents of fructooligosaccharides and inulin along with those of selected sugars in fresh banana of different ripening stages were first determined. Banana was then processed into snacks either by hot air drying (HD) or low-pressure superheated steam drying (LPSSD). Selected physicochemical properties of both fresh banana (moisture content, water activity, flesh-to-peel ratio, total soluble solids content, pH, titratable acidity and firmness) and its snacks (microstructure, texture and color) were investigated. Fresh banana of ripening stage 5 exhibited higher fructooligosaccharides, inulin and sugar contents; its snacks also possessed maximum fructooligosaccharides and inulin contents. Drying methods did not have any significant effect on the contents of these prebiotics. Although snacks from banana of ripening stage 5 possessed higher sugar contents, such contents, when snacks are consumed at the recommended amount, are still lower than the recommend daily intake. Stage-5 LPSSD snack exhibited better texture and color than its HD counterpart, so the former has a potential of being a prebiotic-based snack.
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This study evaluated the effect of ethanol concentration (EC, 0–70%) and temperature (25–75 °C) on the oligosaccharides extraction from ripe banana pulp, as well as the profile of mono-, di-, galacto-, fructo-, malto- and xylooligosaccharides in ripe banana pulp and peel. According to response surface plots, EC of 52% (vol/vol) and 75 °C provided the maximum oligosaccharides extraction from banana pulp. High-performance anion exchange chromatography coupled to pulsed amperometric detection showed the presence of glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, arabinose, 1-kestose, xylopentaose, and xylohexaose in banana pulp and glucose, fructose, sucrose, 1-kestose, maltotriose, xylopentaose, and xylohexaose in banana peel. Banana pulp and peel showed 6.47 and 1.42 mg/g dw of total oligosaccharides, respectively. The chromatographic analysis showed fructo- and xylooligosaccharides as the main banana oligosaccharides. Finally, banana can contribute to the intake of sugars and prebiotic oligosaccharides.
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Dietary products with prebiotic properties have been used to promote protective effects during inflammatory process. Prebiotics are source of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that have been associated with anti-inflammatory effects. Banana (Musa sp. AAA) is rich in resistant starch, which is used by colonic microbiota to SCFAs production. For this, we used the trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid model of intestinal inflammation to evaluate whether intestinal anti-inflammatory effect is related to prebiotic effects. Dietary intervention with green dwarf banana flour (5% or 10%) increased acetate, propionate and butyrate concentration. The protective effects was also evidenced by reduction in extension of lesion, inhibition of myeloperoxidase activity, prevention in glutathione depletion, increased mucin production and mucosal healing. This way, dietary green dwarf banana modulates oxidative stress and colonic production of SCFAs increasing intestinal tissue protection and may be used as a complementary product to prevent or avoid relapse of symptoms in inflammatory bowel diseases.
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This study aimed to investigate the quality characteristics of sourdough produced using a banana starter. The contents of sugar and alcohol of the banana fermented broth increased significantly as the fermentation date increased (p<0.05), and the pH tended to decrease. The titratable acidity of the fermentation broth increased significantly from the 2nd day of fermentation and remained high until the 4th day (p<0.05). The pH of dough and bread decreased as the amount of sour starter added increased (p<0.05), and there was no significant difference in titratable acidity of dough and bread as well as the amount of starter. According to the added amount of banana sour, the moisture content of the bread increased, the crude fat and crude flour content decreased, and the crude protein content hardly changed. The height of bread increased in proportion to the increase in the amount of sour starter added. As for the internal color of the bread, the brightness and yellowness decreased as the addition amount increased, and the redness increased. It was found that the volume, specific volume and baking loss rate of bread increased as the amount of sour starter added increased. In the texture of bread, elasticity and adhesion increased as the amount added increased, but gumminess, brittleness and hardness decreased as the amount added increased. From the above results, it is expected that the banana starter will be used as a useful ingredient in the development of sourdough bread products.
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Functional constipation (FC) is commonly treated with fruits whose efficacy remains unclear. We conducted a meta-analysis of fruit intervention for FC and provided evidence-based recommendations. We searched seven databases from inception to July 2022. All randomized and crossover studies on the effectiveness of fruits on FC were included. We conducted sensitivity and subgroup analysis. A total of 11 studies were included in this review. Four trials showed that kiwifruits have significantly increased stool frequency (MD = 0.26, 95% CI (0.22, 0.30), P < 0.0001, I ² = 0%) than palm date or orange juice in the fixed-effect meta-analysis. Three high-quality studies suggested that kiwifruits have a better effect than ficus carica paste on the symptom of the FC assessed by the Bristol stool scale in the fixed-effect meta-analysis [MD = 0.39, 95% CI (0.11, 0.66), P < 0.05, I ² = 27%]. Besides, five trials showed that fruits can increase the amount of Lactobacillus acidophilus [MD = 0.82, 95% CI (0.25, 1.39), P < 0.05, I ² = 52%], analyzed with the random-effect model. Subgroup meta-analysis based on the types of fruits suggested that fruits including pome fruit, citrus fruit, and berries have increased the effect of Bifidobacterium t more than the stone fruits in the random effect meta-analysis [MD = 0.51, 95% CI (0.23, 0.79), P < 0.05, I ² = 84%]. Totally, fruit intake may have potential symptom alleviation on the FC as evidence shows that they can affect stool consistency, stool frequency, and gut microbiota. Further large-scale studies are needed to gain more confident conclusions concerning the association between fruit intake and FC in the future.
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The digestion of four sources of resistant starch (RS) has been studied in twelve healthy volunteers who ate controlled diets for 15 d periods. RS from potato, banana, wheat and maize (17−30 g/d) was compared with a starch-free diet, a diet containing wheat starch that was fully digested in the small intestine, and with 18·4 g NSP from bran/d. RS increased stool wet weight by 1·6 g/d per g RS fed for potato, 1·7 for banana, 2·5 for wheat and 2·7 for maize, but this was significantly less than bran NSP at 4·9 g/g. RS was extensively digested in twenty-seven of thirtyfour diet periods but five subjects were unable to break down one or two of the RS sources. Faecal N and energy excretion were increased. RS decreased NSP breakdown and RS2 (resistant starch granules) tended to prolong transit time. All forms of RS increased faecal total short-chain fatty acid excretion. RS2 (from potato and banana) gave greater proportions of acetate in faeces, and RS3 (retrograded starch from wheat and maize) more propionate. We have concluded that RS2 and RS3 are broken down in the human gut, probably in the colon although in 26% of cases this breakdown was impaired. RS exerts mild laxative properties, predominantly through stimulation of biomass excretion but also through some sparing of NSP breakdown.
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This randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical study aimed to evaluate the in vivo prebiotic potential of barley β-glucan. Fifty-two healthy volunteers aged 39–70 years were randomly assigned to consume daily a cake containing 0.75 g of barley β-glucan or a placebo for 30 d. Stool samples were collected before, during and 2 weeks after the intervention for bacterial enumeration. Gastrointestinal side effects were recorded during the treatment period. In older subjects (⩾50 years old), barley β-glucan induced a strong bifidogenic effect and an increase of bifidobacteria into traceable range in cases of no detectable baseline levels. A concurrent significant increase in bacteroides was also observed in this age group. Ingestion of the experimental food resulted in no undesirable gastrointestinal side effects in older subjects. We concluded that the daily intake of a cake containing barley β-glucan is well-tolerated and demonstrated significant bifidogenic properties in older healthy volunteers consuming their usual diets.
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Few fiber supplements have been studied for physiological effectiveness. The effects of native banana starch (NBS) and soy milk (control) on body weight and insulin sensitivity in obese type 2 diabetics were compared using a blind within-subject crossover design. Subjects undertook two phases of 4-week supplementation either with NBS or soy milk. Patients on NBS lost more body weight than when they were on control treatment. Plasma insulin and HOMA-I were reduced after NBS consumption, compared with baseline levels, but not significantly when compared to the control treatment. Results support the use of NBS as part of dietary fiber supplementation.
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Epidemiological studies have shown an inverse relationship between risk of CVD and intake of whole grain (WG)-rich food. Regular consumption of breakfast cereals can provide not only an increase in dietary WG but also improvements to cardiovascular health. Various mechanisms have been proposed, including prebiotic modulation of the colonic microbiota. In the present study, the prebiotic activity of a maize-derived WG cereal (WGM) was evaluated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled human feeding study (n 32). For a period of 21 d, healthy men and women, mean age 32 (sd 8) years and BMI 23·3 (sd 0·58) kg/m2, consumed either 48 g/d WG cereal (WGM) or 48 g placebo cereal (non-whole grain (NWG)) in a crossover fashion. Faecal samples were collected at five points during the study on days 0, 21, 42, 63 and 84 (representing at baseline, after both treatments and both wash-out periods). Faecal bacteriology was assessed using fluorescence in situ hybridisation with 16S rRNA oligonucleotide probes specific for Bacteroides spp., Bifidobacterium spp., Clostridium histolyticum/perfringens subgroup, Lactobacillus-Enterococcus subgroup and total bacteria. After 21 d consumption of WGM, mean group levels of faecal bifidobacteria increased significantly compared with the control cereal (P = 0·001). After a 3-week wash-out period, bifidobacterial levels returned to pre-intervention levels. No statistically significant changes were observed in serum lipids, glucose or measures of faecal output. In conclusion, this WG maize-enriched breakfast cereal mediated a bifidogenic modulation of the gut microbiota, indicating a possible prebiotic mode of action.
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Banana has been currently indicated as a good source of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are considered to be functional components of foods. However, significant differences in their amounts in bananas have been observed in the literature. This work aims to identify and quantify FOS during ripening in different banana cultivars belonging to the most common genomic groups cultivated in Brazil. Considering that these differences can be due to cultivar, stage of ripening, and the methodologies used for FOS analyses, sugar contents were analyzed by high performance anion exchange chromatography-pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). An initial screening of eight cultivars (Ouro, Nanicão, Prata, Maçã, Mysore, Pacovan, Terra, and Figo) in a full-ripe stage showed that 1-kestose, the first member of the FOS series (amounts between 297 and 1600 microg/g of DM), was accumulated in all of them. Nystose, the second member, was detected only in Prata cultivar. Five of the cultivars were analyzed during ripening, and a strong correlation could be established with a specific sucrose level ( approximately 200 mg/g of DM), which seems to trigger the synthesis of 1-kestose (the low amounts of FOS, below the functional recommended dose, indicates that banana cannot be considered a good source of FOS).
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Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are naturally occurring sugars with potentially beneficial nutritional effects. They are widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom. An ion chromatographic method was developed to rapidly and accurately measure FOS in selected food and feed ingredients ingested by humans and animals. The objective of this study was to determine the 1-kestose (1-kestotriose; GF2) nystose (1,1-kestotetraose; GF3), and 1F-β-fructofuranosylnystose (1,1,1-kestopentaose; GF4) content of a wide variety of foods and feedstuffs. After extraction with water and appropriate filtration samples were chromatographed, using an alkaline sodium acetate gradient, through an ion exchange column and guard fitted to a Dionex chromatography unit equipped with a pulsed electrochemical detector. All samples were prepared both with and without spikes of standards to verify recovery and peak identification. Samples of the Compositae family were highest in total FOS followed by Allium species of the Amaryllidadeae family. The method provided excellent separation, recovery, and quantification of the GFn units of FOS. Accurate quantitation of FOS will allow more precise nutritional formulations to be developed with respect to inclusion of this functional food component in human and animal diets.
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Musa species (Musaceae), a tropical plant, have been consumed since many years by mankind for its nutricious and delicious fruits. In addition to this, Musa species have been reported to have various biological activities such as antiulcerogenie, antidiabetic, antiatherogenic, antidiarrheic, antitumoral, antimutagenic and have been also found to be effective in treatment of migraine, hypertension, cholesterol and hiperoxalury. In this review, general information about biological activities of Musa sp. is given.
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Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are naturally occurring sugars with potentially beneficial nutritional effects. They are widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom. An ion chromatographic method was developed to rapidly and accurately measure FOS in selected food and feed ingredients ingested by humans and animals. The objective of this study was to determine the 1-kestose (1-kestotriose; GF2), nystose (1,1-kestotetraose; GF3), and 1F-β-fructofuranosylnystose (1,1,1-kestopentaose; GF4) content of a wide variety of foods and feedstuffs. After extraction with water and appropriate filtration, samples were chromatographed, using an alkaline sodium acetate gradient, through an ion exchange column and guard fitted to a Dionex chromatography unit equipped with a pulsed electrochemical detector. All samples were prepared both with and without spikes of standards to verify recovery and peak identification. Samples of the Compositae family were highest in total FOS followed by Allium species of the Amaryllidadeae family. The method provided excellent separation, recovery, and quantification of the GFn units of FOS. Accurate quantitation of FOS will allow more precise nutritional formulations to be developed with respect to inclusion of this functional food component in human and animal diets. Keywords: Fructooligosaccharides; food composition; high-performance liquid chromatography; ion exchange chromatography
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The bifidogenic effect of inulin and oligofructose is now well established in various studies, not only in adult participants but also in other age groups. This bifidogenic shift in the composition of the colonic microbiota is likely the basis for the impact of these prebiotic compounds on various parameters of colonic function. Mainly from animal and in vitro studies and also from some human trials, there are indications, for instance, that inulin-type fructans may reduce the production of potentially toxic metabolites and may induce important immune-mediated effects. This review discusses how these changes in the composition and activity of the colonic microbiota may affect gut health in healthy people, including in those who may experience some form of gastrointestinal discomfort.
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The digestion and absorption from the small bowel of the carbohydrate of banana has been studied by feeding ileostomy subjects banana from six batches of different ripeness and measuring the amounts excreted in the effluent. Starch content of bananas depended on the ripeness being 37% of dry weight in the least ripe and 3% in the most ripe. Excretion of carbohydrate from banana in ileostomy effluent ranged from 4-19 g/day and was directly related to the starch content (r = 0.99). Up to 90% of the starch could be accounted for in the effluent. Complete recovery of nonstarch polysaccharides [NSP (dietary fiber)] was obtained. The amount of banana starch not hydrolyzed and absorbed from the human small intestine and therefore passing into the colon may be up to 8 times more than the NSP present in this food and depends on the state of ripeness when the fruit is eaten.
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Glycemic effect of adding 10-g carbohydrate portions of apple, banana, grapes, honeydew, orange, or strawberries to a standard meal on separate occasions was measured in 10 insulin-dependent diabetics monitored at home. The meal comprised 29% of total daily caloric intake and contained green beans, rice, turkey, and margarine (50% carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 30% fat). Blood-glucose response to meals containing grapes, honeydew, orange, or strawberries was slightly higher than meals containing apple, banana, or no fruit and the small amount of starch in apple and banana may have contributed to their lower blood-glucose response compared to the other fruits tested. Age, duration of diabetes, or insulin regimen did not correlate with subjects' responses to fruit.
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Human intestinal gas production was measured by breath hydrogen and rectal flatus analysis following ingestion of test meals of five fruit juices and two fruits. Of the juices fed, only orange juice and apricot nectar were without effect on one or more of these parameters. Apple juice caused an increase in hydrogen production in all subjects and an increase in rectal flatus in 4 of 5 subjects tested. Grape juice, raisins and bananas significantly elevated hydrogen production. Prune juice caused diarrhea and a very large increase in breath hydrogen. Possible relationships to carbohydrate composition are discussed.
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Because the human gut microbiota can play a major role in host health, there is currently some interest in the manipulation of the composition of the gut flora towards a potentially more remedial community. Attempts have been made to increase bacterial groups such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus that are perceived as exerting health-promoting properties. Probiotics, defined as microbial food supplements that beneficially affect the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance, have been used to change the composition of colonic microbiota. However, such changes may be transient, and the implantation of exogenous bacteria therefore becomes limited. In contrast, prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacterial species already resident in the colon, and thus attempt to improve host health. Intake of prebiotics can significantly modulate the colonic microbiota by increasing the number of specific bacteria and thus changing the composition of the microbiota. Nondigestible oligosaccharides in general, and fructooligosaccharides in particular, are prebiotics. They have been shown to stimulate the growth of endogenous bifidobacteria, which, after a short feeding period, become predominant in human feces. Moreover, these prebiotics modulate lipid metabolism, most likely via fermentation products. By combining the rationale of pro- and prebiotics, the concept of synbiotics is proposed to characterize some colonic foods with interesting nutritional properties that make these compounds candidates for classification as health-enhancing functional food ingredients.
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Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are short-chain sugars that occur naturally and have dietary benefits for humans. They are widely distributed in nature and are a natural part of the human diet. The objective of this study was to determine the concentrations of 1-kestose (GF(2)), nystose (GF(3)), and 1(F)-beta-fructofuranosylnystose (GF(4)) in a variety of common processed and prepared foods. An ion chromatographic method was developed for this purpose in which the sugar concentrations were measured using integrated amperometry. The samples were simply prepared by blending with water and filtering the suspensions through a 10000 Da cutoff centrifugal filter. These samples were then injected into the ion chromatograph, which had been programmed for gradient elution, and the areas of the sugar peaks obtained compared to those of standard sugars on a calibration curve. Selected samples were prepared both with and without standard spikes in order to assess the efficiency of the determination. Of the vegetables investigated, artichokes contained by far the most FOS, followed by onions; bananas contained more FOS than other fruits investigated. The method was shown to be simple, convenient, and relatively fast for the quantitation of FOS in processed and prepared food products.
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Fructans are food-grade non-digestible carbohydrates that exert beneficial nutritional effects. Their characterization and quantification is required for food-labeling purposes. We describe the suitability of high-performance anion-exchange chromatography coupled with pulsed amperometric detection for the identification and quantification of fructans in fresh fruits (various apple and pear cultivars, plum, banana) as well as in commercial stewed fruits obtained from a local manufacturer. After extraction with water and appropriate filtration, inulobiose [beta-D-Fru-(2-->1)-beta-D-fructofuranoside; F2], 1-kestose [beta-D-Fru-(2-->1)2-alpha-D-glucopyranoside; GF2] and nystose [beta-D-Fru-(2-->1)3-alpha-D-glucopyranoside; GF3] were completely separated in a single 36-min run using a Dionex CarboPac PA 100 column and the new quadruple-potential waveform, originally tailored for oligosaccharide separation. No measurable amounts of F3 and GF4 were detected within the group of studied fruit products. Peak identification was realized using standards. The method is easy, reproducible, and sensitive since as little as 28 microg of sugar per gram dry matter can be quantified. Banana and plum are the varieties containing the highest levels of fructans (about 6000 microg per gram dry matter). The maturity of the fruit appears to have a great influence on the level of GF2. Samples of apple-banana stewed fruits contained the highest total fructan concentration (about 700 microg per gram dry matter). Accurate quantification of fructans will allow more precise nutritional formulation and diet selection for higher fructan consumption.
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Short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) formation by intestinal bacteria is regulated by many different host, environmental, dietary and microbiological factors. In broad terms, however, substrate availability, bacterial species composition of the microbiota and intestinal transit time largely determine the amounts and types of SCFA that are produced in healthy individuals. The majority of SCFA in the gut are derived from bacterial breakdown of complex carbohydrates, especially in the proximal bowel, but digestion of proteins and peptides makes an increasing contribution to SCFA production as food residues pass through the bowel. Bacterial hydrogen metabolism also affects the way in which SCFA are made. This outcome can be seen through the effects of inorganic electron acceptors (nitrate, sulfate) on fermentation processes, where they facilitate the formation of more oxidised SCFA such as acetate, at the expense of more reduced fatty acids, such as butyrate. Chemostat studies using pure cultures of saccharolytic gut micro-organisms demonstrate that C availability and growth rate strongly affect the outcome of fermentation. For example, acetate and formate are the major bifidobacterial fermentation products formed during growth under C limitation, whereas acetate and lactate are produced when carbohydrate is in excess. Lactate is also used as an electron sink in Clostridium perfringens and, to a lesser extent, in Bacteroides fragilis. In the latter organism acetate and succinate are the major fermentation products when substrate is abundant, whereas succinate is decarboxylated to produce propionate when C and energy sources are limiting.
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Some people believe that chocolate and other foods or beverages may cause constipation. This study was undertaken to quantify the effect of potentially constipating foods and beverages on apparently healthy and constipated populations of German individuals. A questionnaire asking for the effect of certain foods and beverages on stool form (perceived consistency) was answered by 200 healthy controls, 122 patients with chronic constipation, and 766 patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). Patients with constipation or IBS-C reported altered stool form after food and beverage consumption more often than controls (controls 42.5% vs constipation 52.0% vs IBS-C 57.0%, P < 0.001). Controls experienced hardening of stools less often and experienced softening more often than either constipation or IBS-C patients. When patients were asked which foods or beverages caused constipation (open ended question), chocolate was most frequently mentioned, followed by white bread and bananas. The results of systematic questioning yielded chocolate (48-64% of respondents), bananas (29-48%), and black tea (14-24%) as constipating, while prunes (41-52%), coffee (14-24%), wine (8-30%), beer (14-24%), and smoking (42-70% in those who smoked) were considered stool softeners. Several foodstuffs may exert an effect on stool consistency. Chocolate, bananas and black tea are perceived to cause constipation, while prunes are perceived to soften stools in many people. Coffee, wine and beer were perceived to soften stools in a minority of people. Cigarettes are perceived to soften stools by about half of the smokers.
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