1998 Volume 1 Issue 2 Pages 7-14
Effects of dietary addition of a viscous exudate of "Mekabu"(Sporophyll of Undaria pinnatifida) on gastrointestinal tracts and plasma lipids were investigated in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a diet containing 3% of the viscous exudate of "Mekabu" for 5 weeks. The food efficiency in the group fed the viscous exudate was significantly lower than in the control group. The relative tissue weights of the stomach and cecum were heavier in the rats fed the viscous exudate than in those fed the control diet. However, the relative weights of stomach, small intestine, cecum and colon contents did not vary between the two groups. These results suggest that the larger stomach and cecum in the rats fed the viscous exudate were attributable to the increase in thickness of the tissue walls. On the light micrographs, the thickness of the cecal muscularis externa was larger in the experimental than in the control rats. The bound water content of the cecal contents of the rats fed the viscous exudate were higher than those of the control rats. This may indicate that the viscous exudate of "Mekabu" increased the water-holding capacity of the gastrointestinal lumen contents. The viscous exudate of "Mekabu" did not affect the levels of plasma lipids.