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inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, broccoli sprouts, sulfora phane, glucoraphanin, gut microbiota, dietary bioactives, biogeography, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are devastating conditions of the gastrointestinal tract with limited treatments, and dietary intervention may be effective and affordable for managing symptoms. Glucosinolate compounds are highly concentrated in broccoli sprouts, especially glucoraphanin (GLR), and can be metabolized by certain mammalian gut bacteria into antiinflammatory isothiocyanates, such as sulforaphane. Gut microbiota exhibit biogeographic patterns, but it is unknown if colitis alters these or whether the location of glucoraphanin-metabolizing bacteria affects antiinflammatory benefits. We fed specific pathogen-free C57BL/6 mice either a control diet or a 10% steamed broccoli sprout diet and gave a three-cycle regimen of 2.5% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) in drinking water over a 34-day experiment to simulate chronic, relapsing ulcerative colitis (UC). We monitored body weight, fecal characteristics, lipocalin, serum cytokines, and bacterial communities from the luminal- and mucosal-associated populations in the jejunum, cecum, and colon. Mice fed the broccoli sprout diet with DSS treatment performed better than mice fed the control diet with DSS, and had significantly more weight gain, lower Disease Activity Index scores, lower plasma lipocalin and proinflammatory cytokines, and higher bacterial richness in all gut locations. Bacterial communities were assorted by gut location but were more homogenous across locations in the control diet + DSS mice. Importantly, our results showed that broccoli sprout feeding abrogated the effects of DSS on gut microbiota, as bacterial richness and biogeography were similar between mice receiving broccoli sprouts with and without DSS. Collectively, these results support the protective effect of steamed broccoli sprouts against dysbiosis and colitis induced by DSS.


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Copyright © 2023 Holman et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.