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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331034

Research Project: Wheat Quality, Functionality and Marketablility in the Western U.S.

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Title: Pilot study using wheat bran to mitigate malnutrition and enteric pathogens

item Kiszonas, Alecia

Submitted to: American Association of Cereal Chemists Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2016
Publication Date: 10/26/2016
Citation: Kiszonas, A. 2016. Pilot study using wheat bran to mitigate malnutrition and enteric pathogens. American Association of Cereal Chemists Meetings.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In 2015, 4.9 million children under the age of five died from infectious, neonatal, or nutritional conditions. Malnourished children have an increased susceptibility to enteric pathogens and diarrhea, which flush commensal bacteria from the intestines. Commensal bacteria in the intestines regulate nutrient absorption, development, and immune responses. Children who are malnourished often get caught in the malnutrition-enteric pathogen cycle. In healthy intestines, there is a barrier layer and mucosal layer, which help digestion, nutrient absorption, and protection from pathogens. The barrier and mucosal layers are destroyed by pathogens. Commensal, beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus ferment dietary fiber into short-chain fatty acids. These short-chain fatty acids heal the intestines. This study used 130 rats to examine the effects of wheat bran pellets, rich in dietary fiber, on health. There were four treatment groups: control, bran, colitis, and colitis + bran. Colitis was induced in half of the rats using dextran sulfate sodium in their water. Disease Index Scores were taken daily. The rats with colitis consistently had greater Disease Index Scores than those rats with colitis + bran. Every two weeks for 12 weeks, five rats from each group were euthanized. Digestive material was collected for short-chain fatty acid analysis. Bacterial samples were taken and plated on selective and differential media. Rats with colitis alone had greater levels of the harmful bacteria Clostridium than any other treatment group. Rats with colitis + bran had greater levels of the beneficial bacteria Bifidobacteria and Enterococcus compared to the colitis group. The conclusion from this study was that adding bran to ready-to-use therapeutic foods given to malnourished children could help increase beneficial bacteria and decrease presence of disease symptoms.