Introduction: We aimed to investigate the effects of intake of yogurt containing Bifidobacterium longum (BB536-y) and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) in preventing colorectal carcinogenesis in healthy subjects, and the preventive effects of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), whose production was enhanced by the intake of BB536-y and FOS, in human colon cancer cell lines.
Materials and methods: The subjects were 27 healthy persons who were divided into a group taking yogurt containing BB536 (BB536-y group; n = 14) and a group taking yogurt containing BB536 and FOS (BB536-y with FOS group; n = 13) once a day for 5 weeks. The feces were sampled before and after the intake to analyze the amount of SCFA in the feces and the profile of intestinal flora, such as putrefactive bacteria and Bacteroides fragilis enterotoxin (ETBF). Subsequently, human colon cancer cell lines (DLD-1 cells, WirDr cells) were cultured in the presence of SCFA (butyric acid, isobutyric acid, acetic acid) in order to evaluate the cell growth-inhibitory activity of SCFA (WST-8 assay) by calculating the IC50 value from the dose–response curve.
Results: Intake of BB536-y increased the total amount of SCFA in the feces and significantly suppressed the detection rate of ETBF and growth of putrefactive bacteria. Intake of BB536-y with FOS was associated with a higher Bifidobacterium detection rate than that of BB536-y alone. The contents of butyric acid, isobutyric acid, and acetic acid, namely, of SCFA, were also decreased. Analysis of the results of culture of DLD-1 cells and WirDr cells in the presence of butyric acid, isobutyric acid, and acetic acid revealed that each of the substances showed significant cell growth-inhibitory activity, with the activity being the highest for butyric acid, followed by that for isobutyric acid and acetic acid.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that intake of both BB536-y and BB536-y with FOS prevents colorectal carcinogenesis.
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