The effect of dietary oils on cecal microflora in experimental colitis in mice
Objectives: In spite of growing evidence indicating the benefits of probiotics, the effects of different dietary oils on intestinal microflora and probiotics have not been elucidated. This study aimed to examine the effects of different dietary oils on intestinal microflora in an experimental model of colitis. Methods: Eight-week mice were fed isocaloric diets varying only in fat composition for 4 weeks. The oils used were fish oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and chow diet containing beef tallow. Colitis was induced by intracolonic administration of acetic acid on day 21. The inflammation and fecal microflora and serum lipid profiles were evaluated 1 week after induction. Results: Inflammation was highest in the chow diet group followed by safflower, canola, and fish oil fed groups, respectively. The number of fecal bacteroideceae was greater, whereas the number of fecal bifidobacteria was lower in mice fed beef tallow than the other ones. In addition, fish oil reduced the plasma level of triacylglycerole significantly. Conclusion: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can affect intestinal microflora increasing the number of probiotics. PUFAs might be recommended in addition to probiotics for the prevention and/or maintenance treatment of colitis. Copyright © 2008 by Indian Society of Gastroenterology.