Scope: The gut microbiota might critically modify metabolic disease development. Dietary fibers such as galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) presumably stimulate bacteria beneficial for metabolic health. This study assesses the impact of GOS on obesity, glucose, and lipid metabolism. Methods and results: Following Western-type diet feeding (C57BL/6 mice) with or without β-GOS (7% w/w, 15 weeks), body composition, glucose and insulin tolerance, lipid profiles, fat kinetics and microbiota composition are analyzed. GOS reduces body weight gain (p < 0.01), accumulation of epididymal (p < 0.05), perirenal (p < 0.01) fat, and insulin resistance (p < 0.01). GOS-fed mice have lower plasma cholesterol (p < 0.05), mainly within low-density lipoproteins, lower intestinal fat absorption (p < 0.01), more fecal neutral sterol excretion (p < 0.05) and higher intestinal GLP-1 expression (p < 0.01). Fecal bile acid excretion is lower (p < 0.01) in GOS-fed mice with significant compositional differences, namely decreased cholic, α-muricholic, and deoxycholic acid excretion, whereas hyodeoxycholic acid increased. Substantial changes in microbiota composition, conceivably beneficial for metabolic health, occurred upon GOS feeding. Conclusion: GOS supplementation to a Western-type diet improves body weight gain, dyslipidemia, and insulin sensitivity, supporting a therapeutic potential of GOS for individuals at risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
- adipose tissue
- lipid absorption