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Carbohydr Polym 2023 Mar 15;304:120460. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2022.120460.
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Chain conformation, mucoadhesive properties of fucoidan in the gastrointestinal tract and its effects on the gut microbiota.

Chen A , Liu Y , Zhang T , Xiao Y , Xu X , Xu Z , Xu H .

Fucoidans are valuable marine polysaccharides with various bioactivities and physicochemical properties. However, its digestive properties, mucoadhesive properties, and bioactivity in the gastrointestinal tract are still unclear. In this study, simulated digestion, fecal fermentation in vitro, and rheology models were utilized to investigate the chain conformation, influence on gut microbiota, and mucin adhesive properties of fucoidan from the sea cucumber Thelenota ananas (Ta-FUC). The results showed that Ta-FUC was nondigestible with a temporary decrease in molecular weight in gastric conditions, accompanied by the chain conformation becoming more flexible. Moreover, Ta-FUC exhibited strong mucin adhesive function in the simulated intestinal environment, with supramolecular disulfide, hydrogen, and hydrophobic interactions in order of intensity. During fermentation, Ta-FUC was degraded by the intestinal flora to produce various short-chain fatty acids and promoted the relative abundance of Bacteroidota and Firmicutes, reducing the proportion of Proteobacteria. Therefore, these results indicate that Ta-FUC could be a potential prebiotic and ingredient for developing targeted delivery systems in the functional food and pharmaceutical industries.

PubMed ID: 36641186
Article link: Carbohydr Polym