Open Access Research

Disintegration of wheat aleurone structure has an impact on the bioavailability of phenolic compounds and other phytochemicals as evidenced by altered urinary metabolite profile of diet-induced obese mice

Jenna Pekkinen1*, Natalia N Rosa123, Otto-Ilari Savolainen1, Pekka Keski-Rahkonen1, Hannu Mykkänen1, Kaisa Poutanen13, Valérie Micard12 and Kati Hanhineva1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, P.O. Box 1627, Kuopio FI-70211, Finland

2 JRU Agropolymers Engineering and Emerging Technologies (IATE 1208) SupAgro-INRA-UM2-CIRAD, 2 Place Pierre Viala, Montpellier cedex 1 34060, France

3 VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland

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Nutrition & Metabolism 2014, 11:1  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-11-1

Published: 2 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Phenolic acids are covalently bound to the arabinoxylan fibre matrix of wheat aleurone layer. In order to be bioavailable they need to be released by endogenous or bacterial enzymes and absorbed within the intestinal lumen. The intestinal microbiota can metabolize phenolic acids and other food-born phytochemicals. However, the effect of structure of the cereal bran or aleurone layer on these processes is not comprehensively studied.

Methods

The structure of aleurone layer was modified either by dry-grinding or by enzymatic treatments with xylanase alone or in combination with feruloyl esterase. Diet induced obese C57BL6/J mice were fed with high-fat diets containing either pure ferulic acid, or one of the four differentially treated aleurone preparations for 8 weeks. The diets were designed to be isocaloric and to have similar macronutrient composition. The urinary metabolite profiles were investigated using non-targeted LC-qTOF-MS-metabolomics approach.

Results

The different dietary groups were clearly separated in the principal component analysis. Enzymatic processing of aleurone caused increased excretion of ferulic acid sulfate and glycine conjugates reflecting the increase in unbound form of readily soluble ferulic acid in the diet. The urinary metabolite profile of the diet groups containing native and cryo-ground aleurone was more intense with metabolites derived from microbial processing including hippuric acid, hydroxyl- and dihydroxyphenylpropionic acids. Furthermore, aleurone induced specific fingerprint on the urinary metabolite profile seen as excretion of benzoxazinoid metabolites, several small dicarboyxlic acids, and various small nitrogen containing compounds.

Conclusions

The structural modifications on wheat aleurone fraction resulted in altered metabolism of aleurone derived phenolic acids and other phytochemicals excreted in urine of diet-induced obese mice.

Keywords:
Arabinoxylan; Ferulic acid; Microbial metabolism; Non-targeted metabolomics; LC-MS; Metabolite profiling