Poster Theater Flash Session
Objectives : To study the hepatoprotective effect of gum Arabic in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and to test its ability to reverse the disturbance in intestinal microbiota associated with the disease.
Methods : Eighteen white male albino rats (150 g-170 g) were randomized into 3 groups (6 rats each). Animals of the normal control group were fed on a balanced diet. Non-alcoholic fatty liver was induced in the second group (HF group) by feeding the animals a high fructose-high fat diet (60% fructose,15% fat). Animals of the third group (GA group) were fed on a high fructose-high fat diet containing 10% gum Arabic. After 5 weeks, the animals were sacrificed, their livers were harvested, and feces samples were collected and stored at -80o C until analysis.
Liver total fat was estimated using Folch's extraction procedure. Liver sections were prepared and stained for histological examination. Genomic DNA was extracted from feces samples. Two intestinal phyla (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes) were quantified by real-time PCR using specific primers.
Results : Estimation of the liver total fat showed a significant increase in the HF group compared to normal control. The GA group showed a significantly lower level of total fat compared to the HF group, which was comparable to the normal control group
Histological analysis of liver sections revealed severe fatty degeneration in most of the hepatocytes in the HF group. Hepatocytes of the GA group showed a marked improvement which was not far from the normal control.
Real-time PCR showed slightly more copies of Bacteroidetes, and a slightly higher ratio of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes in the GA group compared to the HF group. However, real-time PCR results were not statistically significant at p≥0.05.
Conclusions : Gum Arabic is a promising functional food with a potential hepatoprotective effect in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Gum Arabic did not have a marked modulating effect on intestinal microbiota and more studies are needed in that area.
Funding Sources : This study was funded by the National Research Center in Egypt.