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Changes in mouse gastrointestinal microbial ecology with ingestion of kale

In: Beneficial Microbes
Authors:
Y. Uyeno Faculty of Agriculture, Shinshu University, Minamiminowa 8304, Kamiina, Nagano 399-4598, Japan

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S. Katayama Faculty of Agriculture, Shinshu University, Minamiminowa 8304, Kamiina, Nagano 399-4598, Japan

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S. Nakamura Faculty of Agriculture, Shinshu University, Minamiminowa 8304, Kamiina, Nagano 399-4598, Japan

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Kale, a cultivar of Brassica oleracea, has attracted a great deal of attention because of its health-promoting effects, which are thought to be exerted through modulation of the intestinal microbiota. The present study was performed to investigate the effects of kale ingestion on the gastrointestinal microbial ecology of mice. 21 male C57BL/6J mice were divided into three groups and housed in a specific pathogen-free facility. The animals were fed either a control diet or experimental diets supplemented with different commercial kale products for 12 weeks. Contents of the caecum and colon of the mice were processed for the determination of active bacterial populations by a bacterial rRNA-based quantification method and short-chain fatty acids by HPLC. rRNAs of Bacteroides-Prevotella, the Clostridium coccoides-Eubacterium rectale group, and Clostridium leptum subgroup constituted the major fraction of microbiota regardless of the composition of the diet. The ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes was higher in the colon samples of one of the kale diet groups than in the control. The colonic butyrate level was also higher with the kale-supplemented diet. Overall, the ingestion of kale tended to either increase or decrease the activity of specific bacterial groups in the mouse gastrointestinal tract, however, the effect might vary depending on the nutritional composition.

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