European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 179–191 | Cite as

Preventive rather than therapeutic treatment with high fiber diet attenuates clinical and inflammatory markers of acute and chronic DSS-induced colitis in mice

  • Ana Letícia Malheiros Silveira
  • Adaliene Versiani Matos Ferreira
  • Marina Chaves de Oliveira
  • Milene Alvarenga Rachid
  • Larissa Fonseca da Cunha Sousa
  • Flaviano dos Santos Martins
  • Ana Cristina Gomes-Santos
  • Angelica Thomaz Vieira
  • Mauro Martins TeixeiraEmail author
Original Contribution



Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic inflammatory disorders with important impact on global health. Prebiotic and probiotic strategies are thought to be useful in the context of experimental IBD. Here, we compared the effects of preventive versus therapeutic treatment with a high fiber diet (prebiotic) in combination or not with Bifidobacterium longum (probiotic) in a murine model of chronic colitis.


Colitis was induced by adding dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to drinking water for 6 days (acute colitis) or for 5 cycles of DSS (chronic colitis).


Administration of the high fiber diet protected from acute colitis. Protection was optimal when diet was started 20 days prior to DSS. A 5-day pretreatment with acetate, a short-chain fatty acid, provided partial protection against acute colitis. In chronic colitis, pretreatment with the high fiber diet attenuated clinical and inflammatory parameters of disease. However, when the treatment with the high fiber diet started after disease had been established, overall protection was minimal. Similarly, delayed treatment with acetate or B. longum did not provide any protection even when the probiotic was associated with the high fiber diet.


Preventive use of a high fiber diet or acetate clearly protects mice against acute and chronic damage induced by DSS in mice. However, protection is lost when therapies are initiated after disease has been established. These results suggest that any therapy aimed at modifying the gut environment (e.g., prebiotic or probiotic strategies) should be given early in the course of disease.


Inflammatory bowel disease DSS Colitis High fiber diet 



This work received financial support from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES, Brazil), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Brazil), Fundação de Amparo e Pesquisas do Estado Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG, Brazil), National Institute of Science of Technology in Dengue (INCT in Dengue, CNPq, Brazil). We thank Frankcinéia Assis and Ilma Marçal for technical support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

394_2015_1068_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (47 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 47 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Letícia Malheiros Silveira
    • 1
  • Adaliene Versiani Matos Ferreira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marina Chaves de Oliveira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Milene Alvarenga Rachid
    • 1
    • 3
  • Larissa Fonseca da Cunha Sousa
    • 1
  • Flaviano dos Santos Martins
    • 4
  • Ana Cristina Gomes-Santos
    • 5
  • Angelica Thomaz Vieira
    • 1
  • Mauro Martins Teixeira
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Immunopharmacology, Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Biological Sciences InstituteUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition, Nursing SchoolUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Department of General Pathology, Biological Sciences InstituteUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  4. 4.Biotherapeutic Agents, Department of Microbiology, Biological Sciences InstituteUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  5. 5.Immunobiology, Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Biological Sciences InstituteUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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