Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 12, pp 3475–3482 | Cite as

Dietary Red Meat Aggravates Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Colitis in Mice Whereas Resistant Starch Attenuates Inflammation

  • Richard K. Le Leu
  • Graeme P. Young
  • Ying Hu
  • Jean Winter
  • Michael A. Conlon
Original Article



Although a genetic component has been identified as a risk factor for developing inflammatory bowel disease, there is evidence that dietary factors also play a role in the development of this disease.


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of feeding a red meat diet with and without resistant starch (RS) to mice with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis.


Colonic experimental colitis was induced in Balb/c mice using DSS. The severity of colitis was evaluated based on a disease activity index (based on bodyweight loss, stool consistency, rectal bleeding, and overall condition of the animal) and a histological score. Estimations were made of numbers of a range of different bacteria in the treatment pools of cecal digesta using quantitative real-time PCR.


Consumption of a diet high in red meat increased DSS-induced colitis as evidenced by higher disease activity and histopathological scores. Addition of RS to the red meat diet exerted a beneficial effect in acute DSS-induced colitis. Subjective analysis of numbers of a range of bacterial targets suggest changes in the gut microbiota abundance were induced by red meat and RS treatments and these changes could contribute to the reported outcomes.


A dietary intake of red meat aggravates DSS-induced colitis whereas co-consumption of resistant starch reduces the severity of colitis.


Inflammation Resistant starch Red meat Gut microbiota Dextran sulfate sodium 



Dextran sulfate sodium


Resistant starch


Red meat


Inflammatory bowel disease


Ulcerative colitis


Colorectal cancer


Short chain fatty acids


American Institute of Nutrition


High amylose maize starch


Disease activity index


Sulfate-reducing bacteria


Adenosine-5-phosphosulfate reductase gene



This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (grant ID 535079) and CSIRO Preventative Health National Research Flagship.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard K. Le Leu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Graeme P. Young
    • 2
  • Ying Hu
    • 2
  • Jean Winter
    • 2
  • Michael A. Conlon
    • 1
  1. 1.Preventative Health National Research FlagshipCSIRO, and CSIRO Animal, Food and Health SciencesAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Flinders Centre for Innovation in CancerFlinders University of South AustraliaBedford ParkAustralia

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