Background: Dietary fiber intake leading to short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production could be a strategy to combat intermittent bouts of inflammation during ulcerative colitis. Objective: Our objective was to evaluate dietary potato fiber (PF) in attenuating inflammation using a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis mouse model. We hypothesized that PF would show anti-inflammatory effects compared with cellulose due in part to SCFA production. Methods: Male C57Bl/6J mice were fed diets containing either 8% cellulose or 14.5% PF for a 22-d feeding study. Starting on study day 14, mice were provided either distilled water (control) or 2% (wt:vol) DSS in drinking water for 5 d (cellulose+control, n = 17; PF+control, n = 16; cellulose+DSS, n = 17; and PF+DSS, n = 16). Body weights and food and water intakes were collected daily from day 14 through day 22. Distal colon tissue was analyzed for histologic outcomes and changes in gene expression, and cecal contents were analyzed for SCFA concentrations. Data were analyzed by ANOVA, with repeated measures applied where necessary. Results: At day 5 post-DSS induction, cellulose+DSS mice exhibited a 2% reduction (P < 0.05) in body weight compared with PF+DSS and PF+ and cellulose+control mice. PF+DSS mice had greater (P < 0.05) cecal butyrate concentrations [24.5 μmol/g dry matter (DM)] than did cellulose+DSS mice (4.93 μmol/g DM). Mice fed PF+DSS had lower (P < 0.05) infiltration of leukocytes in the distal colon than did mice fed cellulose+DSS (mean histology scores of 1.22 and 2.30, respectively). Furthermore, mice fed cellulose+DSS exhibited 1.42, 11.5, 8.48, and 35.5 times greater (P < 0.05) colon mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor α (Tnfa) and interleukin (Il ) 1b, Il6, and Il17a, respectively, and 7.10 times greater (P < 0.05) expression of C-X-C motif ligand 1 (Cxc1) compared with mice fed PF+DSS. Conclusions: These results suggest that PF fed to mice before and during DSS colitis attenuates inflammation, potentially through SCFA production; however, future studies are needed to understand the role of dietary fiber intake and immune activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2781-2788
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2015


  • Colitis
  • Dextran sodium sulfate
  • Dietary fiber
  • Potato fiber
  • Short-chain fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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