3.12. Gut Microbiota and Mucosal Immunity Are Influenced by Cocoa the Obromine
Martín-Peláez, S. *; Rigo-Adrover, M.; Camps-Bossacoma, M.; Massot-Cladera, M.; Saldaña-Ruiz, S.; Franch, A.; Pérez-Cano, F.J.; Castell, M.
Background and objectives
Ingestion of cocoa has been shown to influence the immune system.
The role of the bioactive components of cocoa (i.e., flavonoids, fiber, theobromine) is not completely understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of cocoa theobromine on the intestinal compartment.
Twenty-one three-week-old Lewis rats, were randomly assigned to three dietary groups (n = 7 per group) for 15 days: the reference group (RF), which was fed with a standard diet; the cocoa group (CC), which was fed with a standard diet containing 10% of a conventional cocoa powder; and the theobromine group (TB), which was fed with a standard diet including 0.25% theobromine (the same amount of theobromine as the CC diet). Fecal samples were obtained at day 15 in order to establish bacterial populations, short chain fatty acids (SCFA), pH and IgA coating bacteria.
The TB diet significantly inhibited the growth of the bacterial groups covered by E. coli, Bif164, Strept and Chis150 probes compared to RF. This inhibitory effect was not observed when theobromine was ingested with cocoa (CC diet), except for E. coli. Both CC and TB diets increased the fecal amounts of total SCFA, but led to different percentages of the individual SCFA analyzed, except for butyric acid, which increased with both diets. The TB increased percentages of formic acid, whereas the CC diet increased the percentage of acetic acid. Only the TB diet led to changes in fecal pH, which was found to be significantly higher than the RF and CC diets. The TB and in particular the CC diets significantly decreased the percentages of fecal IgA-coating bacteria compared to the RF diet.
Theobromine present in cocoa has an important role in rat’s intestinal gut microbiota and immune system modulation.
Grant AGL2011-24279 from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.