Experimental diets dictate the metabolic benefits of probiotics in obesity

Ida Søgaard Larsen, Béatrice S.Y. Choi, Bandik Föh, Nanna Ny Kristensen, Adia Ouellette, Rune Falkenberg Haller, Peter Bjarke Olsen, Delphine Saulnier, Christian Sina, Benjamin A.H. Jensen*, André Marette

*Corresponding author for this work


Growing evidence supports the use of probiotics to prevent or mitigate obesity-related dysmetabolism and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, frequent reports of responders versus non-responders to probiotic treatment warrant a better understanding of key modifiers of host–microbe interactions. The influence of host diet on probiotic efficacy, in particular against metabolic diseases, remains elusive. We fed C57BL6/J mice a low fat reference diet or one of two energy-matched high fat and high sucrose diets for 12 weeks; a classical high fat diet (HFD) and a customized fast food-mimicking diet (FFMD). During the studies, mice fed either obesogenic diet were gavaged daily with one of two probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains previously classified as Lactobaccillus, namely Limosilactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri)or Lacticaseibacillus paracaseisubsp. paracasei (L. paracasei), or vehicle. The tested probiotics exhibited a reproducible efficacy but dichotomous response according to the obesogenic diets used. Indeed, L. paracaseiprevented weight gain, improved insulin sensitivity, and protected against NAFLD development in mice fed HFD, but not FFMD. Conversely, L. reuteri improved glucoregulatory capacity, reduced NAFLD development, and increased distal gut bile acid levels associated with changes in predicted functions of the gut microbiota exclusively in the context of FFMD-feeding. We found that the probiotic efficacy of two LAB strains is highly dependent on experimental obesogenic diets. These findings highlight the need to carefully consider the confounding impact of diet in order to improve both the reproducibility of preclinical probiotic studies and their clinical research translatability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2192547
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)2192547
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-17 Endocrinology, Diabetology, Metabolism


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