The purpose of this study was to investigate the beneficial effects of synbiotics on liver damage, intestinal health, and muscle loss, and their relevance in rats with chronic ethanol feeding. Thirty Wistar rats fed with a control liquid diet were divided into control and synbiotics groups, which were respectively provided with water or synbiotics solution (1.5 g/kg body weight/day) for 2 weeks. From the 3rd to 8th week, the control group was divided into a C group (control liquid diet + water) and an E group (ethanol liquid diet + water). The synbiotics group was separated in to three groups, SC, ASE, and PSE. The SC group was given a control liquid diet with synbiotics solution; the ASE group was given ethanol liquid diet with synbiotics solution, and the PSE group was given ethanol liquid diet and water. As the results, the E group exhibited liver damage, including increased AST and ALT activities, hepatic fatty changes, and higher CYP2E1 expression. Intestinal mRNA expressions of occludin and claudin-1 were significantly decreased and the plasma endotoxin level was significantly higher in the E group. In muscles, beclin-1 was significantly increased in the E group. Compared to the E group, the PSE and ASE groups had lower plasma ALT activities, hepatic fatty changes, and CYP2E1 expression. The PSE and ASE groups had significantly higher intestinal occludin and claudin-1 mRNA expressions and lower muscular beclin-1 expression when compared to the E group. In conclusion, synbiotics supplementation might reduce protein expression of muscle protein degradation biomarkers such as beclin-1 in rats with chronic ethanol feeding, which is speculated to be linked to the improvement of intestinal tight junction and the reduction of liver damage.
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