2022 Volume 68 Issue 2 Pages 104-111
To investigate whether the oral intake of slowly digestible α-glucan (SDG) could have a trophic (i.e., thickening) effect on their ileal mucosae, for 10 d, rats were given control (non-SDG), 10% isomaltodextrin (IMD) or 10% resistant maltodextrin (RMD) diets. In addition, experimental rat groups were further divided into two groups each and their diets either had or had not 1% sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) added as a thickening agent. In the jejuna and the ilea, compared with control rats, the villus length and the mucosal thickness, but not the crypt depth, were significantly greater in the RMD-fed rats, with the trophic effect being weaker in the IMD-fed rats than in the RMD-fed rats. The colonic crypt depth was significantly greater in SDG groups than in the control group. The concentration of plasma glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-2 in the portal veins of the RMD group but not the IMD group was significantly higher than in the control group, with no effect of CMC supplementation on its concentration. The concentrations of cecal short-chain fatty acids did not significantly increase with SDG supplementation except for propionate concentration of the IMD-supplemented rats, compared with those in the control rats. We concluded that SDGs, especially RMD, thickened the mucosae of the rat distal small intestines. In particular, this effect of RMD but not IMD could have resulted from increased glucose available as a secretagogue of the trophic hormone GLP-2, in the ileum.