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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 809128, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/809128
Research Article

Intake of Blueberry Fermented by Lactobacillus plantarum Affects the Gut Microbiota of L-NAME Treated Rats

1Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, 222 41 Lund, Sweden
2Probi AB, 223 70 Lund, Sweden
3Department of Biology, Lund University, 223 62 Lund, Sweden

Received 10 December 2012; Revised 8 March 2013; Accepted 16 March 2013

Academic Editor: Shun-Wan Chan

Copyright © 2013 Jie Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Prebiotics, probiotics, or synbiotics can be used as means to regulate the microbiota to exert preventative or beneficial effects to the host. However, not much is known about the effect of the gut microbiota on hypertension which is a major risk factor of cardiovascular disease and also a symptom of the metabolic syndrome. The -nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) induced hypertensive rats were used in order to test the effect of a synbiotic dietary supplement of Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL19 either together with fermented blueberry or with three phenolic compounds synthesized during fermentation. The experimental diets did not lower the blood pressure after 4 weeks. However, the fermented blueberries together with live L. plantarum showed protective effect on liver cells indicated by suppressed increase of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) levels. The diversity of the caecal microbiota was neither affected by L-NAME nor the experimental diets. However, inhibition of the nitric oxide synthesis by L-NAME exerted a selection pressure that led to a shift in the bacterial composition. The mixture of fermented blueberries with the bacterial strain altered the caecal microbiota in different direction compared to L-NAME, while the three phenolic compounds together with the bacteria eliminated the selection pressure from the L-NAME.