Current Microbiology

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 38–42 | Cite as

The Effects of Dietary Ferric Iron and Iron Deprivation on the Bacterial Composition of the Mouse Intestine

  • Geoffrey R. Tompkins
  • Norris L. O'Dell
  • Israel T. Bryson
  • Catherine B. Pennington

Abstract

The influence of dietary ferric iron on the intestinal microbiota of mice was investigated with a view to promoting benign lactic acid bacteria (which have minimal iron requirements) in order to enhance colonization-resistance potential. Three groups of eight mice received a diet differing only in iron content, for a period of 12 weeks. Dietary iron deprivation resulted in overall increased small intestinal bacterial populations, including lactic acid bacteria, but these differences were generally not significant (p > 0.05). With the exception of coliforms, all examined bacterial groups (anaerobes, micro-aerophiles, lactobacilli, and enterococci) were significantly (p < 0.05) elevated in the colons of iron-deprived mice. The relatively low numbers of total anaerobes in the colons of iron-replete and iron-overloaded mice suggested that, as well as promotion of bacteria under iron-deprived condition, provision of ferric iron suppressed bacteria, probably by oxidation of normally reduced environments.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey R. Tompkins
    • 1
  • Norris L. O'Dell
    • 1
  • Israel T. Bryson
    • 1
  • Catherine B. Pennington
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oral Biology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912-1126, USAUS

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