Kefir alleviates obesity and hepatic steatosis in high-fat diet-fed mice by modulation of gut microbiota and mycobiota: targeted and untargeted community analysis with correlation of biomarkers.
J Nutr Biochem. 2017 06 ;44:35-43. Epub 2017 Mar 4. PMID: 28384519
Kefir is a probiotic beverage containing over 50 species of lactic acid bacteria and yeast. In this study, the anti-obesity and anti-non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) effects of kefir were comprehensively addressed along with targeted and untargeted community analysis of the fecal microbiota in a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model. HFD-fed C57BL/6 mice were orally administrated either kefir or milk (control) once a day for 12 weeks, and body and organ weight, fecal microbiota and mycobiota, histopathology, blood cholesterol and cytokines and gene expressions were analyzed. Compared to the control, mice in the kefir group exhibited a significantly lower body weight (34.18 g vs. 40.24 g; p=0.00004) and histopathological liver lesion score (1.13 vs. 3.25; p=0.002). Remarkably, the kefir-fed mice also harbored more Lactobacillus/Lactococcus (7.01 vs. 6.32 log CFU/g), total yeast (6.07 vs. 5.01 log CFU/g) and Candida (5.56 vs. 3.88 log CFU/g). Kefir administration also up-regulated genes related to fatty acid oxidation, PPARα and AOX, in both the liver and adipose tissue (PPARα, 2.95- and 2.15-fold; AOX, 1.89- and 1.9-fold, respectively). The plasma concentration of IL-6, a proinflammatory marker, was significantly reduced following kefir consumption (50.39 pg/ml vs. 111.78 pg/ml; p=0.03). Strikingly, the populationsof Lactobacillus/Lactococcus, total yeast and Candida were strongly correlated with PPARα gene expression in adipose and hepatic tissue (r=0.599, 0.580 and 0.562, respectively). These data suggest that kefir consumption modulates gut microbiota and mycobiota in HFD-fed mice, which prevents obesityand NAFLD via promoting fatty acid oxidation.