The hypothesis tested in the present study is that dietary fructans are able to modulate gastrointestinal peptides involved in the control of food intake, namely glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 (7-36) amide and ghrelin. After 3 weeks of treatment with a standard diet (control) or the same diet enriched with 100 g fructans varying in their degrees of polymerization (oligofructose (OFS), Synergy 1 (Syn) or long chain inulin)/kg, male Wistar rats were deprived of food for 8 h before sample collection. Dietary energy intake throughout the experiment was significantly lower (P>0·05) in fructans-fed rats than in control rats, leading to a significant decrease (P>0·01) in epidydimal fat mass at the end of the treatment in OFS- and Syn-treated rats. GLP-1 (7-36) amide concentration in portal vein serum was higher in OFS- and Syn-fed than in control rats. Both GLP-1 (7-36) amide concentration and proglucagon mRNA concentrations were significantly greater (P>0·05) in the proximal colonic mucosa of fructans-fed rats v. controls. Normally active ghrelin concentration in plasma increases during food deprivation and rapidly falls during a meal. In the present study, after 8 h of food deprivation, active ghrelin in the plasma remained significantly lower (P>0·05) in OFS and Syn-fed than in control rats. These results are in accordance with the modifications of dietary intake and fat-mass development in short-chain fructans-treated rats and demonstrate the potential modulation of GLP-1 (7-36) amide and ghrelin by fermentable fibres such as fructans, which are rapidly and extensively fermented in the proximal part of the colon.
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