In vivo degradation of alginate in the presence and in the absence of resistant starch

Jonathan, M.C.; Souza Da Silva, C.; Bosch, G.; Schols, H.A.; Gruppen, H.


This study evaluated the intestinal degradability of alginate during 74 days intake in pigs as models for humans. Diets contained pregelatinized starch, retrograded starch, alginate, or a mix of retrograded starch and alginate. Faeces were collected on day 1, 3, 7, 14, 39 and 74. Clear trends in intestinal alginate degradation were observed. Up to day 39, the total tract digestibility of alginate was limited (0.52±0.10), and was lower with the inclusion of retrograded starch in the diet (0.34±0.02). More than 90% of the faecal alginate was insoluble in water, which may explain the low digestibility of the alginate. The digestibility of mannuronic acid (M) was 2-3 times higher than that of guluronic acid (G). The changes of G:M ratio and the relative amounts of alginate oligosaccharides between day 39 and 74 indicated that the microbiota needed more than 39 days to adapt to alginate. This study demonstrated that in-depth analyses of dietary fibres are valuable in understanding the fate of the dietary fibres in the large intestine as it was shown that degradation of a dietary fibre depends not only on the properties of the fibre itself, but also on the other dietary fibres present in the diet and the adaptation time.