, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 429–436

Impact of Administered Bifidobacterium on Murine Host Fatty Acid Composition

  • Rebecca Wall
  • R. Paul Ross
  • Fergus Shanahan
  • Liam O’Mahony
  • Barry Kiely
  • Eamonn Quigley
  • Timothy G. Dinan
  • Gerald Fitzgerald
  • Catherine Stanton
Original Article


Recently, we reported that administration of Bifidobacteria resulted in increased concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in murine adipose tissue [1]. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of co-administration of Bifidobacterium breve NCIMB 702258 and the substrate for EPA, α-linolenic acid, on host fatty acid composition. α-Linolenic acid-supplemented diets (1%, wt/wt) were fed to mice (n = 8), with or without B. breve NCIMB 702258 (daily dose of 109 microorganisms) for 8 weeks. Two further groups received either supplement of B. breve alone or unsupplemented diet. Tissue fatty acid composition was assessed by gas liquid chromatography. Dietary supplementation of α-linolenic acid resulted in higher (P < 0.05) α-linolenic acid and EPA concentrations in liver and adipose tissue and lower (P < 0.05) arachidonic acid in liver, adipose tissue and brain compared with mice that did not receive α-linolenic acid. Supplementation with B. breve NCIMB 702258 in combination with α-linolenic acid resulted in elevated (P < 0.05) liver EPA concentrations compared with α-linolenic acid supplementation alone. Furthermore, the former group had higher (P < 0.05) DHA in brain compared with the latter group. These results suggest a role for interactions between fatty acids and commensals in the gastrointestinal tract. This interaction between administered microbes and fatty acids could result in a highly effective nutritional approach to the therapy of a variety of inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions.


Omega-3 fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid Docosahexaenoic acid Bifidobacteria Microbiota Probiotics 



Analysis of variance


Colony forming units


Conjugated linoleic acid


Docosahexaenoic acid


Eicosapentaenoic acid


Fatty acid methyl esters


Inflammatory bowel disease




Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein


de Man, Rogosa and Sharpe


Phosphate buffered saline


Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Pulse-field gel electrophoresis


Special diets services


Standard error mean


Tumor necrosis factor-α


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Copyright information

© AOCS 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Wall
    • 1
  • R. Paul Ross
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fergus Shanahan
    • 1
  • Liam O’Mahony
    • 1
  • Barry Kiely
    • 4
  • Eamonn Quigley
    • 1
  • Timothy G. Dinan
    • 1
  • Gerald Fitzgerald
    • 1
    • 3
  • Catherine Stanton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC)Co. CorkIreland
  2. 2.Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research CentreCo. CorkIreland
  3. 3.University College CorkNational University of IrelandCorkIreland
  4. 4.Alimentary Health (AH)Co. CorkIreland

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