Whole and Isolated Protein Fractions Differentially Affect Gastrointestinal Integrity Markers in C57Bl/6 Mice Fed Diets with a Moderate-Fat Content.
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Various proteins or protein fractions reportedly positively affect gastrointestinal integrity and inflammation in diets providing >45% energy as fat. This study tested whether benefits were seen in diets providing 30% of energy as fat. Purified diets (PD) with isolated soy protein (ISP), dried whole milk powder (DWMP), milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), or milk protein concentrate (MPC) as protein sources were fed to C57BL/6J mice (n = 15/diet group) for 13 weeks. MFGM-fed mice were heaviest (p < 0.005) but remained within breeder norms. Growth rates and gut motility were similar for all PD-fed mice. FITC-dextran assessed gut permeability was lowest in DWMP and MFGM (p = 0.054); overall, plasma endotoxin and unprovoked circulating cytokines indicated a non-inflammatory state for all PD-fed mice. Despite differences in cecal butyrate and intestinal gene expression, all PDs supported gastrointestinal health. Whole milk provided more positive effects compared to its fractions. However, ISP-fed mice showed a >370%, (p < 0.006) increase in colonic myeloperoxidase activity indicative of tissue neutrophil infiltration. Surprisingly, FITC-dextran and endotoxin outcomes were many folds better in PD-fed mice than mice (strain, vendor, age and sex matched) fed a "chow-type" nutritionally adequate non-PD. Additional variables within a diet's matrix appear to affect routine indicators or gastrointestinal health.