Off-campus WSU users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your WSU access ID and password, then click the "Off-campus Download" button below.

Non-WSU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Yifan Zhang


The microbiome is extremely complex and presumed to be involved in several biological processes. Dysbiosis is associated with development of several diseases, therefore, eubiosis is essential for prevention and treatment, possibly achieved through prebiotic or probiotic supplementation. The objective of this study was to establish effects of short-term supplementation on large intestine microbiota, pH and inflammatory cytokines. Large intestines of 21 day old C57BL/6 male mice that were given a control diet or supplemented with 10% potato starch or VSL#3 short-term, were analyzed for shifts in bacteria, pH, and inflammatory cytokine concentration. Large intestine digesta bacteria concentration differed from feces from previous study results, possibly due to colonization and exposure to nutrients, potentially meaning feces is not a direct representation of large intestine microbiota concentration. In conclusion, both supplementations exhibited potential mechanisms to promote large intestine health. Short-term potato starch supplementation caused an increase in beneficial Bifidobacterium in digesta, potentially due to increased fermentation, leading to a decrease in pH. Short-term VSL#3 supplementation displayed a reduction in both cytokines IL-10 and TNF- in large intestine tissue, suggesting a decreased immune response. This is possibly due to the decreased TNF- causing a reduction in all pro-inflammatory cytokines, ultimately leading to less need of anti-inflammatory IL-10, which suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokine production. In conclusion, both supplementations displayed benefits short-term, however further analysis is needed potentially examining long-term supplementation, in IBD subjects, or symbiotically.

Off-campus Download