Ingestion of an Inulin-Enriched Pork Sausage Product Positively Modulates the Gut Microbiome and Metabolome of Healthy Rats

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Scope: Processed meat intake is associated with a potential increased colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. In contrast, dietary fiber consumption has been found to lower CRC risk, possibly via mechanisms involving the gut microbiota (GM) and its metabolites. This study investigates the effect of inulin enrichment of a common pork sausage product on GM composition and activity in healthy rats. Methods and results: Thirty Sprague-Dawley rats are fed a diet based on either an inulin-enriched sausage (n = 12), a corresponding control sausage without enrichment (n = 12), or a standard chow diet (n = 6) during a 4 week intervention. NMR-based metabolomics analyses are conducted on fecal and plasma samples, and GM composition is determined using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Pronounced effects of diets on GM composition and activity are found. Rats fed the inulin-enriched sausages have increased levels of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the fecal and plasma metabolome and increased fecal levels of Bifidobacterium spp. as compared to rats fed sausages without enrichment. Conclusion: Inulin enrichment of a meat product resembles general effects seen upon dietary fiber consumption and corroborates that healthier processed meats can be developed through strategic inclusion of dietary fiber ingredients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800608
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number19
Pages (from-to)1-10
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • dietary fiber fortification, gut microbiota, metabolomics, processed meat, short chain fatty acids

ID: 203525142