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Effects of fructooligosaccharides on cecum polyamine concentration and gut maturation in early-weaned piglets

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      Polyamines are molecules involved in cell growth and differentiation and are produced by bacterial metabolism. However, their production and effects by the microbiota selected by fructooligosaccharides consumption are controversial. In this study, we investigated the influence of supplementation of fructooligosaccharides on the cecal polyamine production by the microflora selected, and its effect on gut maturation in newborn piglets. Twenty piglets were fed a control formula (n = 10) or a formula supplemented with fructooligosaccharides (8 g/l) (n = 10) for 13 days. Colony-forming unit’s count of cecal content was done in different media. Several intestinal development parameters were measured as well as the polyamine concentration in the cecal mucosa and cecal content. A dose-dependent study on in vitro polyamine production by fructooligosaccharides addition to the isolated cecal content was performed. Bifidogenic activity of fructooligosaccharides increased polyamine concentration in the cecal content, mainly putrescine, with no beneficial effect on gut maturation. Bifidobacterium spp. were able to produce polyamines, but they were not the most significant bacterial producer of polyamines in the cecum of piglets fed fructooligosaccharides. Bifidogenic activity of fructooligosaccharides did not lead to an increase in gut maturation in piglets of 15 days of age although polyamines were increased in the cecal content.

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          Oligosaccharides in human milk: structural, functional, and metabolic aspects.

          Research on human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) has received much attention in recent years. However, it started about a century ago with the observation that oligosaccharides might be growth factors for a so-called bifidus flora in breast-fed infants and extends to the recent finding of cell adhesion molecules in human milk. The latter are involved in inflammatory events recognizing carbohydrate sequences that also can be found in human milk. The similarities between epithelial cell surface carbohydrates and oligosaccharides in human milk strengthen the idea that specific interactions of those oligosaccharides with pathogenic microorganisms do occur preventing the attachment of microbes to epithelial cells. HMOs may act as soluble receptors for different pathogens, thus increasing the resistance of breast-fed infants. However, we need to know more about the metabolism of oligosaccharides in the gastrointestinal tract. How far are oligosaccharides degraded by intestinal enzymes and does oligosaccharide processing (e.g. degradation, synthesis, and elongation of core structures) occur in intestinal epithelial cells? Further research on HMOs is certainly needed to increase our knowledge of infant nutrition as it is affected by complex oligosaccharides.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia, Espinardo Campus, 30100 Murcia, Spain
            [2 ]Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Murcia, Spain
            [3 ]Department of Animal Production, Veterinary School, University of Murcia, Spain
            Author notes
            *To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mariasm@
            J Clin Biochem Nutr
            Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition
            the Society for Free Radical Research Japan (Kyoto, Japan )
            May 2011
            26 April 2011
            : 48
            : 3
            : 230-236
            Copyright © 2011 JCBN

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Original Article


            polyamines, gut, cecal microorganisms, development, fructooligosaccharides


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