According to a study published in the journal Nutrition Research, taking the natural dietary fiber glucomannan may improve the digestive health of individuals who consume fatty foods. Researchers from Japan tested the dietary fiber's effectiveness on rat models for the study.
The researchers previously found that consuming lily bulbs, a type of food that contains glucomannan, helps balance gut microbiota and increases gut immunoglobulin A (IgA, an index of intestinal immune function), mucins (index of intestinal barrier function), and colonic alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in rats fed a high-fat diet.
It has been confirmed that small intestinal ALP has a protective effect in inflammatory diseases. However, not much is known about the function of colonic ALP activity.
The researchers hypothesized that dietary glucomannan can increase colonic ALP activity and gene expression in rat models given a high-fat diet.
To test their hypothesis, they fed male Sprague-Dawley rats a diet containing 30 percent lard with or without 4 percent high or low viscous glucomannan (HGM or LGM) for two weeks.
Dietary HGM and LGM significantly increased colonic ALP activity without altering ALP activity in the small intestine.
The colonic expression of IAP-I, an ALP gene expressed throughout the intestine, was noticeably higher in the HGM and LGM groups than in the control group.
The colonic expression of other ALP genes, namely Akp3 and Alpl, were unaffected by HGM and LGM.
Dietary HGM and LGM considerably increased fecal levels of IgA and mucins and cecal organic acids, such as lactate, n-butyrate, and propionate.
The researchers noted that colon ALP corresponded with fecal IgA, mucins, and cecal organic acids.
The researchers concluded that dietary glucomannan enhances colonic ALP activity via the up-regulation of IAP-I, which can protect gut epithelial homeostasis.
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Okazaki Y, Katayama T. GLUCOMANNAN CONSUMPTION ELEVATES COLONIC ALKALINE PHOSPHATASE ACTIVITY BY UP-REGULATING THE EXPRESSION OF IAP-I, WHICH IS ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED PRODUCTION OF PROTECTIVE FACTORS FOR GUT EPITHELIAL HOMEOSTASIS IN HIGH-FAT DIET–FED RAT. Nutrition Research. 2017;43:43–50. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2017.05.012