Background: We previously showed that microbial metabolism in the gut influences the composition of bioactive fatty acids in host adipose tissue.
Objective: This study compared the effect of dietary supplementation for 8 wk with human-derived Bifidobacterium breve strains on fat distribution and composition and the composition of the gut microbiota in mice.
Methods: C57BL/6 mice (n = 8 per group) received B. breve DPC 6330 or B. breve NCIMB 702258 (10(9) microorganisms) daily for 8 wk or no supplement (controls). Tissue fatty acid composition was assessed by gas-liquid chromatography while 16S rRNA pyrosequencing was used to investigate microbiota composition.
Results: Visceral fat mass and brain stearic acid, arachidonic acid, and DHA were higher in mice supplemented with B. breve NCIMB 702258 than in mice in the other 2 groups (P < 0.05). In addition, both B. breve DPC 6330 and B. breve NCIMB 702258 supplementation resulted in higher propionate concentrations in the cecum than did no supplementation (P < 0.05). Compositional sequencing of the gut microbiota showed a tendency for greater proportions of Clostridiaceae (25%, 12%, and 18%; P = 0.08) and lower proportions of Eubacteriaceae (3%, 12%, and 13%; P = 0.06) in mice supplemented with B. breve DPC 6330 than in mice supplemented with B. breve NCIMB 702258 and unsupplemented controls, respectively.
Conclusion: The response of fatty acid metabolism to administration of bifidobacteria is strain-dependent, and strain-strain differences are important factors that influence modulation of the gut microbial community by ingested microorganisms.