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Using a Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME), we investigated the chemopreventive potential of prebiotic chicory inulin towards the in vitro bioactivation of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) by human intestinal microbiota. HPLC data revealed that inulin significantly decreased the formation of the genotoxic PhIP-M1 metabolite, with the highest inhibitory activity in the colon ascendens (87% decrease). Interestingly, this chemopreventive effect correlated with alterations of bacterial community composition and metabolism in the different colon compartments. Conventional culture-based techniques and PCR-DGGE analysis on the SHIME colon suspension revealed significant bifidogenic effects during inulin treatment, whereas the overall microbial community kept relatively unchanged. Additionally, the production of short-chain fatty acids increased with 12%, 3% and 7%, while ammonia concentrations decreased with 3%, 4% and 3% in the ascending, transverse and descending colon compartments, respectively. These results indicate that the prebiotic effects from inulin may also purport protective effects towards microbial PhIP bioactivation. As the colonic microbiota may contribute significantly to the carcinogenic potential of PhIP, the search for dietary constituents that decrease the formation of this harmful metabolite, may help in preventing its risk towards human health.


L Vanhaecke, C Grootaert, W Verstraete, T Van de Wiele. Chemopreventive effects from prebiotic inulin towards microbial 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine bioactivation. Journal of applied microbiology. 2009 Feb;106(2):474-85

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PMID: 19200315

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