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Feeding Spinach Thylakoids To Rats Modulates The Gut Microbiota, Decreases Food Intake And Affects The Insulin Response

Caroline Montelius, Nadia Osman, Björn Weström, Siv Ahrné, Göran Molin, Per-Åke Albertsson, Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson

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AbstractThylakoid membranes derived from green leaf chloroplasts affect appetite-regulating hormones, suppress food intake, reduce blood lipids and lead to a decreased body weight in animals and human subjects. Thylakoids also decrease the intestinalin vitrouptake of methyl-glucose in the rat. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary thylakoids on the gut microbiota composition, mainly the taxa of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, in rats fed either a thylakoid-enriched diet or a control diet for 10 d. At the same time, a glucose-tolerance test in the same rats was also performed. Food intake was significantly decreased in the thylakoid-fed rats compared with the control-fed rats over the 10-d study. An oral glucose tolerance test after 10 d of thylakoid- or control-food intake resulted in significantly reduced plasma insulin levels in the thylakoid-fed rats compared with the control-fed rats, while no difference was observed for blood glucose levels. Analysis of gut bacteria showed a significant increase of lactobacilli on the ileal mucosa, specificallyLactobacillus reuteri, in the rats fed the thylakoid diet compared with rats fed the control diet, while faecal lactobacilli decreased. No difference in bifidobacteria between the thylakoid and control groups was found. Analyses with terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and principal component analysis of faeces demonstrated different microbial populations in the thylakoid- and control-fed animals. These findings indicate that thylakoids modulate the gut microbial composition, which might be important for the regulation of body weight and energy metabolism.