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Aromatic substances in wheat malt inducing antisecretory factor and resistance to diarrhoea

Journal article
Authors Erik Johansson
Stefan Lange
Ivar Lönnroth
Published in Journal of Functional Foods
Volume 54
Pages 348-352
ISSN 1756-4646
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 348-352
Language en
Keywords Antisecretory factor, Diarrhoea, Malt, Phenols, Rat, Wheat
Subject categories Internal medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology


Antisecretory factor (AF) is a protein which regulates fluid transport in the intestine and other organs. Extensive malting of wheat releases certain chemicals which induce AF and inhibit enterotoxic diarrhoea. The aim of this study was to identify AF-inducing substances in wheat malt. The active fractions of the malt leachate contained guaiacol, ferulic acid, and vanillic acid. These three 2-methyl-catechols gave >50% inhibition of cholera toxin-induced secretion in the gut. In contrast, fully methylated catechol had the opposite action; that is, they were secretory rather than antisecretory. Guaiacol and ferulic acid were further shown to induce AF in blood. Since the 2-methoxyphenol structure is present in substances binding to the vanilloid receptor, TRPV1, the specific blocker of this receptor—capsazepine—was tested. This substance exerted >50% inhibition of cholera secretion. Thus 2-methyl-catechols in wheat malt induce AF, and probably exert their effect via the TRPV1 receptor. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

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