The effects of alginate consumption on the faecal microbiota and faecal metabolic activity were studied in eight healthy male volunteers who consumed a mixed free choice diet (control diet) for 1 wk before and after alginate consumption, and the diet with additional 10 g alginate once a day for 2 wks. During alginate consumption, the: levels of bifidobacteria increased significantly (P lt 0.05), while the levels of Enterobacteriaceae and the frequency of occurrence of lecithinase-negative clostridia showed tendencies to decrease. No detectable change occurred in the levels or the incidence of other microorganisms throughout the experimental period. Faecal sulphide, phenol, p-cresol, and indole were significantly decreased (P lt 0.05) during alginate consumption. After 2 wks of alginate consumption, faecal concentrations of ammonia and skatole were significantly reduced (P lt 0.05), whereas the values of acetic and propionic acids were significantly increased (P lt 0.05). The water content and weight of the faeces were slightly increased to some extent during the consumption. The odour of the faeces decreased markedly during alginate consumption.
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