Long-Term Blackcurrant Supplementation Modified Gut Microbiome Profiles in Mice in an Age-Dependent Manner: An Exploratory Study.
Nutrients. 2020 Jan 21 ;12(2). Epub 2020 Jan 21. PMID: 31973241
Recent studies have suggested that blackcurrant (BC) anthocyanins have promising health benefits, possibly through regulating gut microbiome. Three- and eighteen-month old female mice were fed standard mouse diets for 4 months, each with or without BC (1%) supplementation (= 3 in each treatment group, 12 in total). We then assessed gut microbiome profiles using 16S sequencing of their feces. Old mice had a less diverse microbiome community compared to young mice and there was a remarkable age-related difference in microbiome composition in the beta diversity analysis. BC supplementation did not significantly affect alpha or beta diversity. The relative abundance of several phyla, including Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Tenericutes, was lower in old mice. BC downregulated Firmicutes abundance in young mice and upregulated Bacteroidetes in both age groups, leading to a decreased Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio. There were age-specific differences in the effect of BC supplementation on the microbiome. Twenty-four operational taxonomic units showed a significant interaction between age and BC supplementation (<0.01), which suggests that the ecosystem and the host health status affect the functions and efficiency of BC intake. These results indicate that BC supplementation favorably modulates gut microbiome, but there are distinct age-specific differences. Studies with human hosts are needed to better understand BC's regulatory effects on the gut microbiome.