Studies have reported a positive effect of prebiotics on the bioavailability of iron. This study evaluated the effect of partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) on iron absorption mechanisms in anemic rats. Male Wistar rats were fed 75g American Institute of Nutrition Rodent Diets for growth, pregnancy and lactation (AIN93‐G) without iron for three weeks in order to induce iron deficiency anemia. Then they were fed a control diet (n = 12; without fiber) or a diet with 7.5% of PHGG (n = 12), both without iron. Food intake, body growth and the feed efficiency coefficient (FEC) were measured. The animals were euthanized after two weeks of treatment. The weight of the organs, the pH of the cecal content, and the hepatic iron and ferroportin expression in the cecum, duodenum, and liver were assessed. The intake of PHGG reduced food intake without affecting body growth, and there was a difference between the groups regarding the FEC (p = 0.026), with the highest value found in the PHGG group. The weight of the cecal content increased (p ≤ 0.001) and the pH of the cecal content was significantly lower in the PHGG group. The intake of PHGG significantly increased ferroportin expression in the cecum; however, the difference was not significant in the duodenum and the liver. PHGG seems to have a positive influence on iron absorption through transporter expression, and structural and physiological changes in the colon of anemic growing animals.
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