In the present study, the influences of diets (i.e. chow and AIN-93 diets) on the interpretation of various fecal parameters including viable microbiota, moisture, weight, and short-chain fatty acids in rats fed different amounts of inulin (0.5–2 g/kg). Eight groups of rats (n = 8/group) were fed, for 4 weeks, chow or AIN-93 diets with or without inulin supplementation. Fecal samples were analyzed for different fecal parameters. After a 2-week adaptation, apparent differences in some fecal parameters were observed between the chow and AIN-93 diet groups. Throughout the 4-week intervention period, significantly (p < 0.05) higher Lactobacillus spp. counts, fecal moisture (∼2.7-fold), and fecal weight (∼5.8-fold) were observed with chow diet over AIN-93 diet. More specifically, significant elevations in the levels of Bifidobacterium spp., Lactobacillus spp., fecal moisture, and fecal weight could be observed at low-dose (0.5 g/kg) of inulin in chow diet groups, while most of these changes could merely be seen at medium-dose (1 g/kg) in AIN-93 diet groups. These results demonstrated that the choice of experimental diets would affect the comparison of fecal parameters as well as the interpretation of effective dosage of prebiotic in intestinal health assessments. © 2019

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