Ganglioside Intake Increases Plasma Ganglioside Content in Human Participants

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Background: Preclinical studies reveal associations between intestinal ganglioside content and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Since a low level of ganglioside is associated with higher production of proinflammatory signals in the intestine, it is important to determine safety and bioavailability of dietary ganglioside for application as a potential therapeutic agent. Materials and Methods: Healthy volunteers (HVs; n = 18) completed an 8-week supplementation study to demonstrate safety and bioavailabity of ganglioside consumption. HVs were randomized to consume a milk fat fraction containing 43 mg/d ganglioside or placebo, and patients with IBD (n = 5) consumed ganglioside supplement in a small pilot study. Plasma gangliosides were characterized using reverse-phase liquid chromatography–QQQ mass spectrometry. Intestinal permeability was assessed by oral lactulose/mannitol, and quality of life was assessed by quality of life in the IBD questionnaire. Results: There were no adverse events associated with dietary ganglioside intake. Ganglioside consumption increased (P < .05) plasma content of total GD3 by 35% over 8 weeks. HVs consuming ganglioside exhibited a 19% decrease in intestinal permeability (P = .04). Consumption of ganglioside was associated with a 39% increase (P < .01) in emotional health and a 36% improvement (P < .02) in systemic symptoms in patients with IBD. Conclusion: Impaired intestinal integrity characteristic of IBD results in increased permeability to bacterial antigens and decreased nutrient absorption. Intestinal integrity may be improved by dietary treatment with specific species of ganglioside. Ganglioside is a safe, bioavailable dietary compound that can be consumed to potentially improve quality of life in patients with IBD and treat other disorders involving altered ganglioside metabolism. This study was registered at as NCT02139709.

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