Food and Behaviour Research

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31 Aug 2015 - Nutraingredients - Gut bacteria play vital role in benefits and harms of different fats: Mouse data

by Nathan Gray

The impact of different dietary fats on our health may be mediated by the changes they cause in our gut bacteria ecosystem, according to new research. 

The findings from research in mice suggest that diets rich in beneficial omega-3 fats such as fish oil produce a different balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome than a diet rich lard.

Led by senior researcher Professor Fredrik Bäckhed from the University of Gothenburg, the team of European researchers also showed that the changes in gut microbiota make up caused by the dietary fats share some of the responsibility for their health effects.

"We wanted to determine whether gut microbes directly contribute to the metabolic differences associated with diets rich in healthy and unhealthy fats," explained study first author Robert Caesar, also of the University of Gothenburg.

“The study establishes the gut microbiota as an independent factor aggravating inflammation during diet-induced obesity and, therefore, a suitable target for therapies against associated metabolic perturbations,” said the team, who noted that it may be possible that a probiotic supplementation could counteract the effects of a ‘greasy diet’.