Dietary Pea Fiber Supplementation Improves Glycemia and Induces Changes in the Composition of Gut Microbiota, Serum Short Chain Fatty Acid Profile and Expression of Mucins in Glucose Intolerant Rats.
Nutrients. 2017 Nov 12 ;9(11). Epub 2017 Nov 12. PMID: 29137145
Several studies have demonstrated the beneficial impact of dried peas and their components on glucose tolerance; however, the role of gut microbiota as a potential mediator is not fully examined. In this study, we investigated the effect of dietary supplementation with raw and cooked pea seed coats (PSC) on glucose tolerance, microbial composition of the gut, select markers of intestinal barrier function, and short chain fatty acid profile in glucose intolerant rats. Male Sprague Dawley rats were fed high fat diet (HFD) for six weeks to induce glucose intolerance, followed by four weeks of feeding PSC-supplemented diets. Cooked PSC improved glucose tolerance by approximately 30% (p<0.05), and raw and cooked PSC diets reduced insulin response by 53% and 56% respectively (p<0.05 and p<0.01), compared to HFD (containing cellulose as the source of dietary fiber). 16S rRNA gene sequencing on fecal samples showed a significant shift in the overall microbial composition of PSC groups when compared to HFD and low fat diet (LFD) controls. At the family level, PSC increased the abundance of Lachnospiraceae and Prevotellaceae (p<0.001), and decreased Porphyromonadaceae (p<0.01) compared with HFD. This was accompanied by increased mRNA expression of mucin genes Muc1, Muc2, and Muc4 in ileal epithelium (p<0.05). Serum levels of acetate and propionate increased with raw PSC diet (p<0.01). These results indicate that supplementation of HFD with PSC fractions can improve glycemia and may have a protective role against HFD-induced alterations in gut microbiota and mucus layer.