Chlorogenic Acid and Quercetin in a Diet with Fermentable Fiber Influence Multiple Processes Involved in DSS-Induced Ulcerative Colitis but Do Not Reduce Injury. Academic Article uri icon


  • Ulcerative colitis (UC) patients often avoid foods containing fermentable fibers as some can promote symptoms during active disease. Pectin has been identified as a more protective fermentable fiber, but little has been done to determine the interaction between pectin and bioactive compounds present in foods containing that fiber type. Quercetin and chlorogenic acid, two bioactives in stone fruits, may have anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. We hypothesized that quercetin and chlorogenic acid, in the presence of the fermentable fiber pectin, may suppress the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules, alter the luminal environment, and alter colonocyte proliferation, thereby protecting against recurring bouts of UC. Rats (n = 63) received one of three purified diets (control, 0.45% quercetin, 0.05% chlorogenic acid) containing 6% pectin for 3 weeks before exposure to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS, 3% for 48 h, 3x, 2 wk separation, n = 11/diet) in drinking water to initiate UC, or control (no DSS, n = 10/diet) treatments prior to termination at 9 weeks. DSS increased the fecal moisture content (p < 0.05) and SCFA concentrations (acetate, p < 0.05; butyrate, p < 0.05). Quercetin and chlorogenic acid diets maintained SLC5A8 (SCFA transporter) mRNA levels in DSS-treated rats at levels similar to those not exposed to DSS. DSS increased injury (p < 0.0001) and inflammation (p < 0.01) scores, with no differences noted due to diet. Compared to the control diet, chlorogenic acid decreased NF-B activity in DSS-treated rats (p < 0.05). Quercetin and chlorogenic acid may contribute to the healthy regulation of NF-B activation (via mRNA expression of I, Tollip, and IL-1). Quercetin enhanced injury-repair molecule FGF-2 expression (p < 0.01), but neither diet nor DSS treatment altered proliferation. Although quercetin and chlorogenic acid did not protect against overt indicators of injury and inflammation, or fecal SCFA concentrations, compared to the control diet, their influence on the expression of injury repair molecules, pro-inflammatory cytokines, SCFA transport proteins, and NF-B inhibitory molecules suggests beneficial influences on major pathways involved in DSS-induced UC. Therefore, in healthy individuals or during periods of remission, quercetin and chlorogenic acid may promote a healthier colon, and may suppress some of the signaling involved in inflammation promotion during active disease.

published proceedings

  • Nutrients

author list (cited authors)

  • Maslin, L. A., Weeks, B. R., Carroll, R. J., Byrne, D. H., & Turner, N. D.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Maslin, Leigh Ann||Weeks, Bradley R||Carroll, Raymond J||Byrne, David H||Turner, Nancy D

publication date

  • September 2022