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Non-digestible fibers and dietary interventions: alternative approaches for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease Open Access


Other title
HLA-B27 transgenic rats
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Koleva, Petya T
Supervisor and department
Gaenzle, Michael (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science)
Dieleman, Levinus (Department of Medicine)
Examining committee member and department
Dieleman, Levinus (Department of Medicine)
Willing, Benjamin (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science)
Reid, Gregor (Western University, London, Ontario)
Gaenzle, Michael (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science)
Madsen, Karen (Department of Medicine)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Nutrition and metabolism
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), collectively called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are associated with chronic intestinal inflammation, affecting approximately 0.7 % of Canadians. Intestinal microbial dysbiosis have been related to IBD. Therapies that manipulate gut microbiota including interventions with non-digestible fermentable carbohydrates, present a promising treatment. This thesis aimed to test the hypotheses: non-digestible fermentable fibers prevent colitis development in experimental and human IBD, and bacterial fermentation products, mucosal integrity and gut associated lymphoid tissue may control microbiota of the host. The anti-inflammatory properties of β-fructans mixture, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) plus inulin, were verified in a clinical trial with patients with mild to moderate active UC. Patients received 7.5 g or 15 g daily oral β-fructans for 9 weeks. Improvements in UC patients treated with beta-fructans were associated with shifts in the composition of intestinal microbiota and improved butyrate formation. The effects of the short-chain FOS versus the long-chain inulin were compared in an animal study of IBD, using HLA-B27 transgenic rats. The results demonstrated that FOS and inulin differ in colitis reduction and also vary in their effects on the intestinal microbiota in HLA-B27 transgenic rats. The protective effects of FOS in this animal model were associated with an increased abundance of bifidobacteria in intestinal microbiota. A second animal study aimed to compare FOS and isomalto-oligosaccharides, with different structure, in combination with two different diets on inflammation and intestinal microbiota composition in experimental IBD. The protective effects of fibers on colitis development depended on the diet background. The specific cecal microbiota changes were not associated with colitis reduction. Inflammation was positively correlated to protein fermentation in the colon but was negatively associated with carbohydrate fermentation. The last study aimed to investigate if dysregulated mechanisms of intestinal epithelial barrier in IBD may contribute to microbial dysbiosis. Expression of genes, involved in barrier function, was studied in samples obtained from UC and CD patients. Gene expression of mucins and anti-microbial peptides was associated with IBD disease type and these findings confirm and extend previous work that epithelial barrier dysfunction may contribute to microbiota dysbiosis in IBD.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Koleva, P., Valcheva, R., Sun, X., Gänzle, M. and Dieleman, L. (2012) Inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides have divergent effects on colitis and commensal microbiota in HLA-B27 transgenic rats. British Journal of Nutrition, 108:1633 – 1643.

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