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Effects of konjac glucomannan hydrolysates on the gut microflora of mice

Abdulmnem A. Elamir (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Al‐Fateh, Tripoli, Libya)
Richard F. Tester (Glycologic Ltd, c/o Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Farage H. Al‐Ghazzewi (Glycologic Ltd, c/o Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Hakim Y. Kaal (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Al‐Fateh, Tripoli, Libya)
Amna A. Ghalbon (Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Al‐Fateh, Tripoli, Libya, and)
Najat A. Elmegrahai (Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Al‐Fateh, Tripoli, Libya, and)
John R. Piggott (Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Royal College, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 12 September 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to determine the effects of depolymerised mannans and specifically konjac glucomannan hydrolysates (GMH) on the colonic microflora of mice. Blood glucose and cholesterol were also measured.

Design/methodology/approach

Two groups (n = 20) of 12‐week old Wister mice were used for a period of 14 weeks. One group (treatment group) were fed diets containing 5 per cent konjac GMH dissolved in drinking water in addition to the control (group) standard diet. Faecal microflora, feed consumption, body weight, blood glucose and cholesterol were determined.

Findings

The GMH promoted the growth of anaerobes and lactobacilli in the treatment group where this was statistically, highly significant (P < 0.001). Also, the hydrolysate was able to reduce highly significantly (P < 0.001) faecal Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli counts. A significant increase in average daily feed consumption (P < 0.05) and weekly body weight (P < 0.001) was found for the treatment group. The mean ± SD (mmol/l) of blood glucose and cholesterol was lower in the treatment group.

Originality/value

In addition to modulating the gut microflora, GMH seems to lower the blood glucose and cholesterol in mice. Although this needs to be verified by further studies, GMH could also be a candidate for possible treatment of subjects with high cholesterol and for diabetics.

Keywords

Citation

Elamir, A.A., Tester, R.F., Al‐Ghazzewi, F.H., Kaal, H.Y., Ghalbon, A.A., Elmegrahai, N.A. and Piggott, J.R. (2008), "Effects of konjac glucomannan hydrolysates on the gut microflora of mice", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 422-429. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346650810906930

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited