Submitted by Diane Hoffman on Tue, 09/29/2015 - 06:05
Prebiotic pasta could help increase good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract while offering an enriching experience of eating pasta. The research team noted that pasta enriched with specific type of fiber called beta-glucan can improve the concentration of ‘good’ bacteria and offer health benefits.
The probiotic pasta can also improve the immune system and help diabetics and patients with high cholesterol. Study subjects were analyzed by the research team for two months. The increase in population of healthy bacteria led to better health for the study participants, informed the research team.
The research team asked the study participants to eat 100 grams pasta per day. This amounts to three grams of recommended daily dose of barley beta-glucans. Most of the pasta is made from durum wheat, which has proven high protein content. Generally, Pasta contains 75 percent durum wheat and 25 percent whole grain barley flour. Durum wheat was developed around 7000 BC in Central Europe.
The study team noted, “Durum wheat flour and whole-grain barley Pasta containing 3% of barley β-glucans appeared to be effective in the modulation of the composition and the metabolic pathways of the intestinal microbiota, leading to an increased level of SCFA.”
Beta-glucans can be helpful in cases of high cholesterol, diabetes and also improve immunity. Beta-glucans are sugars found in oats, barley, bran, baker’s yeast and some mushrooms and are often used as texturing agents in food processing.
Study co-author Maria De Angelis of the University of Bari Adlo Moro in Italy, said, “These results highlight the influence of fibres and of the Mediterranean diet on gut microbiota, and indirectly on human health.”
The study aimed at comparing the fecal microbiota and metabolome of 26 healthy subjects before (HS) and after (HSB) two months of diet intervention based on the administration of durum wheat flour and whole-grain barley Pasta containing the minimum recommended daily intake (3 g) of barley β-glucans.
A marked increase of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as 2-methyl-propanoic acid, acetic, butyric and propionic acids was found in HSB with respect to HS fecal samples.
Detailed findings of the research team have been published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Author Affiliations: Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.
Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Nephrology Unit - University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Inter-departmental Centre for Industrial Agri-Food Research, University of Bologna, Cesena, Italy