2013 年 32 巻 4 号 p. 167-178
The yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) tuber was examined with regard to its prebiotic effects compared with commercialized fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). A feed containing 10% yacon tuber, which is equivalent to 5% commercialized FOS in terms of the amount of fructo-oligosaccharides (GF2, GF3 and GF4), was administrated to rats for 28 days. The yacon diet changed the intestinal microbial communities beginning in the first week, resulting in a twofold greater concentration of cecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). The SCFA composition differed, but the cecal pH in rats fed yacon tuber was equal to that in rats fed FOS. Serum triglycerides were lower in rats fed yacon compared with rats fed FOS and the control diet. Cecal size was greater with the yacon tuber diet compared with the control diet. The abundant fermentation in the intestines created a selective environment for the intestinal microbiota, which included Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium pseudolongum, Bifidobacterium animalis and Barnesiella spp. according to identification with culture-independent analysis, 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE combined with cloning and sequencing. Barnesiella spp. and B. pseudolongum were only found in the rats fed the yacon diet, while L. acidophilus and B. animalis were found in abundance in rats fed both the yacon and FOS diets. The genus Barnesiella has not previously been reported to be associated with yacon or FOS fermentation. We concluded that the physiological and microbiological effects of the yacon tuber were different from those of FOS. Differences in cecal size, blood triglycerides and microbial community profiles including their metabolites (SCFAs) between the yacon tuber and FOS were shown to be more greatly affected by the yacon tuber rather than FOS.