Recently, we reported that administration of Bifidobacteria resulted in increased concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in murine adipose tissue . The objective of this study was to assess the impact of co-administration of Bifidobacterium breve NCIMB 702258 and the substrate for EPA, alpha-linolenic acid, on host fatty acid composition. alpha-Linolenic acid-supplemented diets (1%, wt/wt) were fed to mice (n = 8), with or without B. breve NCIMB 702258 (daily dose of 10(9) microorganisms) for 8 weeks. Two further groups received either supplement of B. breve alone or unsupplemented diet. Tissue fatty acid composition was assessed by gas liquid chromatography. Dietary supplementation of alpha-linolenic acid resulted in higher (P < 0.05) alpha-linolenic acid and EPA concentrations in liver and adipose tissue and lower (P < 0.05) arachidonic acid in liver, adipose tissue and brain compared with mice that did not receive alpha-linolenic acid. Supplementation with B. breve NCIMB 702258 in combination with alpha-linolenic acid resulted in elevated (P < 0.05) liver EPA concentrations compared with alpha-linolenic acid supplementation alone. Furthermore, the former group had higher (P < 0.05) DHA in brain compared with the latter group. These results suggest a role for interactions between fatty acids and commensals in the gastrointestinal tract. This interaction between administered microbes and fatty acids could result in a highly effective nutritional approach to the therapy of a variety of inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions.
PMID: 20405232 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]