British Journal of Nutrition vol:96 issue:6 pages:1078-86
In the present study, the production and fate of bacterial metabolites in the colon were investigated in a direct way using two substrates labelled with stable isotopes: lactose [(15)N,(15)N]ureide as a source of labelled ammonia and egg proteins intrinsically labelled with [(2)H4]tyrosine as a precursor of [(2)H4]p-cresol. Both ammonia and phenolic compounds are believed to be carcinogenic. Stimulation of carbohydrate fermentation in order to prevent accumulation of these toxic metabolites was induced by inclusion of inulin in a test meal or by addition of inulin to the daily diet, allowing us to distinguish between changes induced by the actual presence of a fermentable carbohydrate and effects caused by a long-term dietary intervention. When a single dose of inulin was administered together with the labelled substrates, a significant increase in faecal (15)N excretion, accompanied by a proportional decrease in urinary (15)N excretion was observed, probably reflecting an enhanced uptake of ammonia for bacterial biosynthesis, since an increased concentration of labelled N in bacterial pellets was found. A statistically significant reduction of urinary [(2)H4]p-cresol excretion was also noted. Upon supplementation of inulin to the daily diet during 4 weeks, however, only a tendency towards decreased urinary excretion of both labelled and unlabelled p-cresol was noted. Further studies are warranted to confirm these results in a larger cohort.