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Title: In vitro studies on gum acacia and its potential as a prebiotic in an elderly population
Author: Alarifi, Sehad Nassr M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 9736
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2017
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Gum acacia (GA) is a soluble dietary fibre derived from acacia trees. It is widely used in African countries and in the Middle East as a traditional medicine. Recently, the consumption of GA has been related to potential health benefits in terms of its potential prebiotics properties, this may be particular relevant in elderly people. Elderly are experiencing negative changes in their gut microbiota and their immune system. Therefore, in this study GA was assessed in in vitro models, and resulted in increased Bifidobacterum spp., which can be important for a targeted population such as elderly. Further evaluation of GA looked at the potential to induce cytokines production with PBMC cells from elderly volunteers. Promising increases in IL-10 were observed. The bacteria able to utilise GA, whilst possessing anti-microbial potential were further studied using enrichment culture techniques. Here Lactobacillus spp. were isolated and shows antipathogenic activity against known pathogens. The antimicrobial activity was related to the lowering pH regards to organic acid production. Finally, further investigation to evaluate the probiotic bacteria and the associated synbiotic was evaluated in the presence of E. coli. within in vitro mixed batch cultures. The synbiotic combination led to increases lactobacilli and inhibition in C. histolyticum group, this effect was more apparent than with the GA, or probiotic alone treatments. Overall, the potential of GA as a prebiotic has been explored, furthermore, a possible synbiotic combination has been developed. These products could show great potential to an ageing population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available