Traditional Processed Meat Products Re-designed Towards Inulin-rich Functional Foods Reduce Polyps in Two Colorectal Cancer Animal Models
Fernández, Javier; Ledesma, Estefanía; Monte, Joaquin; Millan, Enric; Costa, Pedro; de la Fuente, Vanessa García; Fernández-García, María T.; Martínez Camblor, Pablo; Villar, Claudio J.; Lombo, Felipe
Inulin-rich foods exert a prebiotic effect, as this polysaccharide is able to enhance beneficial colon microbiota populations, giving rise to the in situ production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as propionic and butyric acids. These SCFAs are potent preventive agents against colorectal cancer due to their histone deacetylases inhibitory properties, which induce apoptosis in tumor colonocytes. As colorectal cancer is the fourth most common neoplasia in Europe with 28.2 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a cost-effective preventive strategy has been tested in this work by redesigning common porcine meat products (chorizo sausages and cooked ham) consumed by a substantial proportion of the population towards potential colorectal cancer preventive functional foods. In order to test the preventive effect of these inulin-rich meat products against colorectal cancer, an animal model (Rattus norvegicus F344) was used, involving two doses of azoxymethane (10 mg/kg) and two treatments with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) during a 20-week assay period. Control feed, control sausages, functional sausages (15.7% inulin), control cooked ham and functional cooked ham (10% inulin) were used to feed the corresponding animal cohorts. Then, the animals were sacrificed and their digestive tract tissues were analyzed. The results showed a statistically significant 49% reduction in the number of colon polyps in the functional meat products cohorts with respect to the control meat products animals, as well as an increase in the cecum weight (an indicator of a diet rich in prebiotic fiber), a 51.8% increase in colon propionate production, a 39.1% increase in colon butyrate concentrations, and a reduction in the number of hyperplastic Peyer's patches. Metagenomics studies also demonstrated colon microbiota differences, revealing a significant increase in Bacteroidetes populations in the functional meat products (mainly due to an increase in Bacteroidaceae and Prevotellaceae families, which include prominent propionate producers), together with a reduction in Firmicutes (especially due to lower Lachnospiraceae populations). However, functional meat products showed a remarkable increase in the anti-inflammatory and fiber-fermentative Blautia genus, which belongs to this Lachnospiraceae family. The functional meat products cohorts also presented a reduction in important pro-inflammatory bacterial populations, such as those of the genus Desulfovibrio and Bilophila. These results were corroborated in a genetic animal model of CRC (F344/NSlc-Apc(1588/kyo)) that produced similar results. Therefore, processed meat products can be redesigned towards functional prebiotic foods of interest as a cost-effective dietary strategy for preventing colorectal cancer in human populations.