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Effect of lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and inulin on the formation of aberrant crypt foci in rats

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Background Our studies were aimed at investigating the effect of lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB) or inulin, a natural source of non-digestible oligosaccharides derived from chicory, on the induction by carcinogens of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in the colon, which are considered to be early precursor lesions of neoplasia. Methods Strains of Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus acidophilus were administered to rats fed a purified high starch diet, under a variety of treatment protocols including daily gavage, via the drinking water and in the diet. The rats were treated with methyl-N-nitrosourea, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine, or azoxymethane (AOM) to induce ACF. Results In general, no consistent significant changes in ACF numbers were detected in these experiments. In one study, the basal diet of the rats was changed to one containing a higher level of fat (corn oil). Under these conditions, a significant decrease in AOM-induced colonic ACF was seen in rats given L. acidophilus or inulin. In a concurrent group of animals fed a low fat diet, no significant decrease in ACF was observed. Conclusions The results indicate that the type of diet fed can influence the detection of protective effects of LAB and oligosaccharides and that against the background of a diet with a level of fat typical of a Western diet, evidence for a protective effect of L. acidophilus and inulin towards colon cancer was obtained

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Received: 26 July 2001, Accepted: 26 November 2001

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Bolognani, F., Rumney, C., Pool-Zobel, B. et al. Effect of lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and inulin on the formation of aberrant crypt foci in rats. Eur J Nutr 40, 293–300 (2001).

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