Scientists know that more than 80% of the human immune system resides in the gut and effects everything from skin and brain to metabolic health. Now, results of a new study1 in mice show that New Century, KS-based DuPont Danisco’s Litesse Ultra polydextrose, alters the gut microbiome and reduces fasting plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol levels in mice fed a Western diet. The study furthers the microbiome research that DuPont Nutrition & Health has conducted with Finland’s University of Oulu Medical School.
In the study, researchers fed male mice a diet comprising high-fat, highly energy-dense foods, supplementing some twice daily for 14 days with 75 mg of Litesse polydextrose—a low-calorie, low-glycemic, specialty carbohydrate that displays prebiotic properties and is broadly accepted as a fiber—and the others with a placebo. Body weight and food intake were monitored daily, while fasting plasma lipids, cecal microbiota and gene expression in the intestine and liver were measured after the 14-day feeding.
Results showed that polydextrose supplementation significantly reduced food intake, fasting plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol levels. Microbiome analysis revealed that the polydextrose-supplemented mice saw an increase in the relative abundance of Allobaculum, Bifidobacterium and Coriobacteriaceae organisms associated with a lean phenotype and typically found at lower quantities in mice fed a high-fat diet. And it appears that the polydextrose changed intestinal gene expression in the supplemented rats, too, which may help explain the positive metabolic responses.
“This study exemplifies DuPont’s commitment to in-depth and long-term science behind our products,” said Heli Putaala, PhD, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Global Health and Nutrition Science, in a press release. Putaala described the study as “an example of the type of research we have been performing in our Research Center in Finland for almost 20 years, using our own technologies and expertise in the areas of gut modelling, preclinical and clinical trials.”
Professor Karl-Heinz Herzig—a lead investigator in the study, along with his PhD student, Ghulam Raza—added, “While this study was conducted on mice, some human results are in line with what we discovered, although in humans the mechanisms are not yet as clear.” The results, he said, “are very encouraging and should be followed up in human trials.”
- Raza GS et al., “Polydextrose changes the gut microbiome and attenuates fasting triglyceride and cholesterol levels in Western diet fed mice.” Scientific Reports. Published online ahead of print July 13, 2017.