Background – Current treatments and outcomes for Ulcerative Colitis (UC), a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are generally disappointing hence new forms of therapy are urgently required. It has been proposed that manipulation of the gut microbiota with a diet containing wheat bran plus resistant starch (WBRS) may have the ability to modulate the colonic microflora towards a more remedial community and thus potentially act as a novel therapeutic approach in the management of UC.
Objective – To examine the effect of a diet containing high (~32 g/day) levels of WBRS compared to a diet containing low (~10 g/day) levels of WBRS, on the composition of the colonic microflora in individuals with UC. Design – Single blind randomised 48-day crossover dietary intervention, where a total of five subjects (two women, three men) between the age of 18 and 54 years with UC in remission, consumed dietary supplements containing low and high levels of WBRS.
Outcomes – Compared to the low WBRS diet, the high WBRS diet significantly reduced the numbers of the Bacteroides-Prevotella spp. group (P = 0.043) and increased the numbers of the Bifidobacterium spp. group (P = 0.04). No effects on the total number of bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae including Escherichia coli, Clostridium spp. group, Eubacterium spp. group and Lactobacillus spp. group were observed.
Conclusions – Addition of high level WBRS supplements to the diet of UC subjects provided favourable changes to specific groups of bacteria, in particular the Bacteroides-Prevotella spp. group and the potentially beneficial Bifidobacterium spp. group, which suggest this novel combination of dietary fibres may be useful in the management of UC.