A lactic acid bacteria-fermented soybean extract (LFS) is believed to have a protective effect on the gastro-intestinal system. This current study was undertaken to evaluate the ultrastructural changes of the jejunal microvilli following exposure to a detergent containing surfactant and determine whether such mucosal changes would be diminished by prior treatment with LFS.


Twenty mice were divided into two broad experimental groups that were fed either. An ordinary diet (group A; n=15) or one supplemented with LFS (group B; n=5). The detergent known to induce mucosal damage was administered by oral gavage to group B and a sub-group in group A (n=5 each), which were sacrificed ten minutes afterwards. Distilled water was given in the same manner as a negative control to another subgroup in group A (n=5). The ultrastructure of the jejunal mucosa was then investigated using electron microscopy.


The subgroup in group A given the detergent showed severe damage to the mucosal ultrastructure with fragmentation of the microvilli in all animals. However, in mice given LFS, jejunal microvilli of the jejunum showed an almost normal ultrastructural appearance in all animals following treatment with the detergent. As such, LFS appeared to have protective effects on the intestinal mucosa at the ultrastructural level.


Our findings suggest that LFS protects the intestinal mucosa and may thus ve examined in clinical setting against mucosal damage caused by conventional drags known to induce mucosal irritation, such as asprin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.