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Probiotics enhance the recovery of gut atrophy in experimental malnutrition


* Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Nursing and Nutrition School, The Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil
** Department of Surgery, The Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Address correspondence to: Prof. José Eduardo de AguilarNascimento. Rua Estevão de Mendonça 81 apto 801, CEP 78045-200 Cuiabá – MT, BRASIL. Tel: + 55 65 6237183; Fax: + 55 65 6247149; E-mail:

BIOCELL 2004, 28(2), 143-150.


AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of probiotics on the recovery of the bowel atrophy induced by malnutrition in rats. METHODS: Twenty-and-six Wistar rats (200-250g) were fed with either a normoproteic (sham group, n=6) or a free-protein diet (n=20) during 12 days. Twelve malnourished rats were randomized to recover during 15 days with either a hydrolyzed diet (control group, n=6) or the same diet enriched with probiotics (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus helveticus; probiotic group, n=6). RESULTS: Probiotic group showed similar gain of body, liver and bowel weight than controls. At the jejunum, both the villus height (383±49 vs. 321±46mm; p=0.04) and crypt depth (157±31 vs. 125±10mm; p=0.04) were greater in probiotic group than in controls. The crypt depth at the cecum (214±22 vs. 169±43 mm; p=0.05) and the wall width at both the cecum (410±18 vs. 340±61 mm; p=0.02) and sigmoid (479±130 vs. 330±62 mm; p=0.03) were higher in probiotic than in control group. CONCLUSION: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus helveticus enhance the recovery of gut atrophy induced by malnutrition. Probiotics can be useful as oral adjuvants during the recovery of malnutrition.


Cite This Article

B., D. (2004). Probiotics enhance the recovery of gut atrophy in experimental malnutrition. BIOCELL, 28(2), 143–150.


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