Lowland and Highland Varieties of Dioscorea esculenta Tubers Stimulate Growth of Lactobacillus sp. over Enterotoxigenic E. coli in vitro
Objectives. Probiotic supplementation often only leads to transient improvement in the gut microbiome. Potential prebiotics, such as the oligosaccharide-rich varieties of Dioscorea esculenta tubers, can potentially bridge the gap between supplementation and persistent colonization. Thus, this study aimed to assess the ability of D. esculenta tubers to promote the growth of probiotic Lactobacillus sp. in vitro selectively.
Methods. The prebiotic activity of the selected varieties of Dioscorea esculenta tubers was evaluated via compe titive growth assay, wherein the ratios of probiotic Lactobacillus sp. over enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) or “prebiotic ratios” were compared following treatment.
Results. Negative control (0.9% NaCl solution) produced a ratio of 0.88, Lowland and Highland varieties produced ratios of 1.26 and 1.29, respectively, and positive control (inulin) produced 1.54. The two varieties had comparable ratios to one another (p > 0.05), and significantly higher ratios than the negative control (p < 0.05). Both varieties have significant prebiotic activity. Compared to inulin, the two varieties’ prebiotic activity was 84% as effective.
Conclusion. Overall, the tubers promoted the growth of Lactobacillus sp. over ETEC. The crude tuber samples, given their availability and affordability, can be easily integrated into the local diet to contribute to the improvement of the general population’s health.