Polyphenol-rich sorghum brans alter colon microbiota and impact species diversity and species richness after multiple bouts of dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis.
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The microbiota affects host health, and dysbiosis is involved in colitis. Sorghum bran influences butyrate concentrations during dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) colitis, suggesting microbiota changes. We aimed to characterize the microbiota during colitis, and ascertain if polyphenol-rich sorghum bran diets mitigate these effects. Rats (n = 80) were fed diets containing 6% fiber from cellulose, or Black (3-deoxyanthocyanins), Sumac (condensed tannins), or Hi Tannin black (both) sorghum bran. Inflammation was induced three times using 3% DSS for 48 h (40 rats, 2 week separation), and the microbiota characterized by pyrosequencing. The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio was higher in Cellulose DSS rats. Colonic injury negatively correlated with Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Lactobacillales and Lactobacillus, and positively correlated with Unknown/Unclassified. Post DSS#2, richness was significantly lower in Sumac and Hi Tannin black. Post DSS#3 Bacteroidales, Bacteroides, Clostridiales, Lactobacillales and Lactobacillus were reduced, with no Clostridium identified. Diet significantly affected Bacteroidales, Bacteroides, Clostridiales and Lactobacillus post DSS#2 and #3. Post DSS#3 diet significantly affected all genus, including Bacteroides and Lactobacillus, and diversity and richness increased. Sumac and Hi Tannin black DSS had significantly higher richness compared to controls. Thus, these sorghum brans may protect against alterations observed during colitis including reduced microbial diversity and richness, and dysbiosis of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes.