British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Effects of lifelong intervention with an oligofructose-enriched inulin in rats on general health and lifespan

Pascale Rozana1 c1, Amine Nejdia1, Sophie Hidalgoa1, Jean-François Bissona1, Didier Desora2 and Michaël Messaoudia1

a1 ETAP – Applied Ethology, 13 rue du Bois de la Champelle, F-54500 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France

a2 Laboratoire de Neurosciences Comportementales, Université Henri Poincaré Nancy I, F-54500 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France


Ageing is associated with changes in physiology and morphology; nutritional strategies to decrease morbidity and to prolong life are of high interest. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of lifelong supplementation with an oligofructose-enriched inulin on morphological and biological markers and lifespan in male and female rats. Male and female rats, age 3 months, were randomised into two groups to receive either a diet with 10 % of an oligofructose-enriched inulin (Synergy1) or a standard diet (control) for 27 months. The rats were weighed every 2 weeks and their food intake was evaluated on four successive days every 4–6 weeks. Samples were taken at 12, 18 and 24 months of age. During the whole intervention period, male rats receiving Synergy1 (SYN1-M) displayed lower body weight, cholesterol and plasma triacylglycerolaemia compared with the controls (Cont-M). The survival rate at 24 months of age of SYN1-M rats was 35·3 % greater than that of Cont-M rats. In female rats, the Synergy1 supplementation (SYN1-F) group also reduced body weight, cholesterol and triacylglycerolaemia levels, but results were less consistent over the experiment. The survival rate at 24 months of age in SYN1-F rats was 33·3 % greater compared with that of the control (Cont-F) group. To conclude, lifelong intervention with Synergy1 improved biological markers during ageing and survival rate (lifespan) of rats.

(Received October 12 2007)

(Revised February 13 2008)

(Accepted February 19 2008)

(Online publication April 11 2008)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Pascale Rozan, fax +33 383 446 441, email


Abbreviations: BW, body weight; Cont-F, female control; Cont-M, male control; SYN1-F, female Synergy1; SYN1-M, male Synergy1