A high-fat diet (HFD) can easily induce obesity and change the gut microbiota and its metabolites. However, studies on the effects of high-fat diets on the host have drawn inconsistent results. In this study, the unexpected results showed that the refined HFD increased
[...] Read more.
A high-fat diet (HFD) can easily induce obesity and change the gut microbiota and its metabolites. However, studies on the effects of high-fat diets on the host have drawn inconsistent results. In this study, the unexpected results showed that the refined HFD increased gut microbiota diversity and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), causing an increase in energy metabolism. Further analysis revealed these changes were caused by the different fiber content in these two diets. Male C57BL/6J mice (4–5 weeks old) were fed either HFD or refined low-fat diet (LFD) for 14 weeks. The metabolic rates, thermogenesis, gut microbiome, and intestinal SCFAs were tested. The HFD triggered obesity and disturbed glucose homeostasis. Mice fed HFD ingested more fiber than mice fed LFD (p
< 0.0001), causing higher intestinal SCFA concentrations related to the increased abundances of specific bacteria in the HFD group. Also, the HFD increased metabolic heat and up-regulated thermogenesis genes uncoupling protein 1(Ucp-1
), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (Pgc-1α
) expression in the brown adipose tissue (BAT). It was revealed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing that the HFD increased gut microbial diversity, which enriched Desulfovibrionaceae, Rikenellaceae RC9 gut group
, and Mucispirillum
, meanwhile, reduced the abundance of Lactobacillus
, and Blautia
. The predicted metabolic pathways indicated HFD increased the gene expression of non-absorbed carbohydrate metabolism pathways, as well as the risks of colonization of intestinal pathogens and inflammation. In conclusion, the HFD was obesogenic in male C57BL/6J mice, and increased fiber intake from the HFD drove an increase in gut microbiota diversity, SCFAs, and energy expenditure. Meanwhile, the differences in specific nutrient intake can dissociate broad changes in energy expenditure, gut microbiota, and its metabolites from obesity, raising doubts in the previous studies. Therefore, it is necessary to consider whether differences in specific nutrient intake will interfere with the results of the experiments.