2014 Volume 20 Issue 2 Pages 459-467
Rebaudioside A (RA), a natural high potency sweetener, is isolated from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, and has potential for wide use in our diet today. To investigate the effect of RA on the changes of microbial diversity in animal intestinal tract, the viable cell count and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) method were used to monitor the microbial number and species in vivo, and before that, we also evaluated its infuence on the growth of some selected bacteria in vitro. Our results indicated that the RA had little or no effect on the growth of E. coli O157 H7, S. typhimurium, L. monocytogenes and B. longum, while could promote the growth of L. plantarum and inhibit that of S. aureus in vitro; moreover, the viable cell count and DGGE results confrmed that the RA posed little pressure on the composition of total bacteria, enterobacteria and lactobacilli in vivo. In conclusion, RA posed little pressure on the growth and the composition of microbes, suggesting it is safe for gut microbes.