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Intestinal bacteria are involved in bile acid (BA) deconjugation and/or dehydroxylation and are responsible for the production of secondary BA. However, an increase in the production of secondary BA modulates the intestinal microbiota due to the bactericidal effects and promotes cancer risk in the liver and colon. The ingestion of Bacillus coagulans improves constipation via the activation of bowel movement to promote defaecation in humans, which may alter BA metabolism in the intestinal contents. BA secretion is promoted with high-fat diet consumption, and the ratio of cholic acid (CA):chenodeoxycholic acid in primary BA increases with ageing. The dietary supplementation of CA mimics the BA environment in diet-induced obesity and ageing. We investigated whether B. coagulans lilac-01 and soya pulp influence both BA metabolism and the maintenance of host health in CA-supplemented diet-fed rats. In CA-fed rats, soya pulp significantly increased the production of secondary BA such as deoxycholic acid and ω-muricholic acids, and soya pulp ingestion alleviated problems related to plasma adiponectin and gut permeability in rats fed the CA diet. The combination of B. coagulans and soya pulp successfully suppressed the increased production of secondary BA in CA-fed rats compared with soya pulp itself, without impairing the beneficial effects of soya pulp ingestion. In conclusion, it is possible that a combination of prebiotics and probiotics can be used to avoid an unnecessary increase in the production of secondary BA in the large intestine without impairing the beneficial functions of prebiotics.
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