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Prebiotic fibres could cause high metabolic change

Prebiotic fibres like short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS) are known to selectively modulate the composition of the intestinal microbiota and especially to stimulate Bifidobacteria. In parallel, the involvement of intestinal microbiota in host metabolic regulation has been recently highlighted.
The objective of the study, published on Plos One journal by a team of French researchers, was to evaluate the effect of scFOS on the composition of the faecal microbiota and on metabolic parameters in an animal model of diet-induced obesity harbouring a human-type microbiota. Forty eight axenic C57BL/6J mice were inoculated with a sample of faecal human microbiota and randomly assigned to one of 3 diets for 7 weeks: a control diet, a high fat diet (HF, 60% of energy derived from fat)) or an isocaloric HF diet containing 10% of scFOS (HF-scFOS). Mice fed with the two HF gained at least 21% more weight than mice from the control group. Addition of scFOS partially abolished the deposition of fat mass but significantly increased the weight of the caecum. The analysis of the taxonomic composition of the faecal microbiota by FISH technique revealed that the addition of scFOS induced a significant increase of faecal Bifidobacteria and the Clostridium coccoides group whereas it decreased the Clostridium leptum group. In addition to modifying the composition of the faecal microbiota, scFOS most prominently affected the faecal metabolome (e.g. bile acids derivatives, hydroxyl monoenoic fatty acids) as well as urine, plasma hydrophilic and plasma lipid metabolomes.
The increase in C. coccoides and the decrease in C. leptum, were highly correlated to these metabolic changes, including insulinaemia, as well as to the weight of the caecum (empty and full) but not the increase in Bifidobacteria. In conclusion scFOS induce profound metabolic changes by modulating the composition and the activity of the intestinal microbiota, that may partly explain their effect on the reduction of insulinaemia.

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