Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) dietary supplementation and fecal microbiota of Wistar rats.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) dietary supplementation can help prevention of urinary tract infections through the supply of proanthocyanidin-type polyphenols (PAC). The main uropathogenic bacteria are members of the intestinal microbiota. A randomized cross-over experiment was done to investigate whether cranberry dietary supplementation affects concentrations of thermotolerant coliforms, Enterococcus spp. and Lactobacillus spp. in rat faeces. Thirteen rats, housed in individual cages, received successively two diets as pellets during 7 days each: a standard diet without polyphenols and the standard diet supplemented with cranberry powder containing 10.9 mg/100 g of PAC. There was a 7 days wash-out period in between with standard diet without polyphenols. Body weight and feed intake were recorded. Faeces were collected on the last day of treatment, and crushed to count the different bacterial populations using the most probable number method. Thermotolerant coliforms were grown in BGBLB tubes and on MacConkey agar. Enterococcus spp. were grown in Rothe and Litsky broths and on KF Streptococcus agar. Lactobacillus spp. were grown in Man Rogosa Sharpe broth. Body mass gains were not affected by cranberry supplementation. This is consistent with equal food intake, cranberry powder not providing significant energy supplement. Cranberry dietary supplementation was associated with changes in fecal concentrations of thermotolerant coliforms, and Enterococcus spp. in some rats, but did not induce significant changes in bacterial fecal concentrations in a global population of 13 rats. In conclusion, we did not observe any significant effect of dietary cranberry supplementation on the fecal microbiota of Wistars rats for a 7-day diet.