Prebiotic fibre could induce 'profound metabolic changes'

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Researchers claim that the prebiotic fibre short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides could help diabetic sufferers manage weight
Researchers claim that the prebiotic fibre short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides could help diabetic sufferers manage weight

Related tags Nutrition Gut flora Bacteria

Prebiotic short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS) could modify metabolism through their effect on intestinal microbiota, which could prove helpful for type 2 diabetics, research has claimed. 

The study, which used diet-induced obese mice model harbouring a human-type microbiota, sought to evaluate the effect of scFOS on the composition of the faecal microbiota and on metabolic parameters. They found that scFOS induce “profound metabolic changes”​ by modifying the composition and activity of the intestinal microbiota.

Published in the PLOS ONE​ journal, the findings could have implications for the day-to-day management of type 2 (T2) diabetes, and the researchers points to other recent studies which have demonstrated a link between the gut microbiota and diet-induced obesity and its associated insulin resistance.

Frédérique Respondek who lead the study told NutraIngredients: “[scFOS] is quite a simple way to help people [with T2 diabetes] to regulate their metabolism because it’s just adding some fibres to their diets in comparison to other things that are a bit more like medication.”

“In fact [these results] were quite expected but it was the first time we could demonstrate that in such a good model,”​ Respondek explained.

Based on previous research, prebiotic fibres like scFOS are already known to modify the composition of the microbiota and in particular to stimulate Bifidobacteria​. Building on from this the role of intestinal microbiota in metabolic regulation has also been recently highlighted.

Nice Mice Method

The research used 48 axenic mice inoculated with a sample of faecal human microbiota and randomly assigned to one of three diets for a period of seven weeks: a control diet, a high fat diet (60% of energy derived from fat) or a high fat diet with the same calories but containing 10% scFOS.

Mice within the two high fat diets gained at least 21% more weight than mice from the control group, while the scFOS diet “partially abolished the deposition of fat mass”​ but significantly increased the weight of the large intestine pouch caecum. 

According to the researchers, FISH analysis of the taxonomic composition of the faecal microbiota showed that the addition of scFOS induced a significant increase of faecal Bifidobacteria​ and the Clostridium coccoides ​group while decreasing the Clostridium leptum​ group.

“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 but not the increase in Bifidobacteria,”​ the researchers wrote.

Source: PLOS ONE


“Short-Chain Fructo-Oligosaccharides Modulate Intestinal Microbiota and Metabolic Parameters of Humanized Gnotobiotic Diet Induced Obesity Mice”

Authors: F. Respondek, P. Gerard, M. Bossis, L. Boschat, A. Bruneau, S. Rabot, A. Wagner, J.C. Martin

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1 comment

Convincing article

Posted by Cordier,

I think it's time to take FOS and inulin with my anti diabetic drugs to see what happens on my metabolism and excess appetite.

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