Background: High-fat diets (HFDs) induce systemic inflammation, gut microbial derangements and disturb metabolic homeostasis, resulting in weight gain, insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL). Numerous antioxidants and prebiotic/probiotics per se may prevent HFD-associated comorbidities, but there are no reports related to their combination.
Objective: In the present study, we aim to evaluate a cobiotic combination of lycopene (antioxidant) and isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMOs, a prebiotic) for prevention of HFD-induced alterations.
Design: Male Swiss albino mice were fed either normal pellet diet (NPD) or HFD and lycopene (5 and 10 mg kg(-1)), IMOs (0.5 and 1 g kg(-1)) or their combination for 12 weeks. Systemic adiposity, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, feeding regulators in hypothalamus, hepatosteatosis and liver inflammation, cecal short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), serum inflammatory cytokines, gut morphology and alterations in selected gut microbes were studied.
Results: Lycopene, IMOs and their combination prevented weight gain, adiposity, improved adipose tissue fat mobilization and reduced insulin resistance. Hypothalamic orexigenic and anorectic genes have also been modulated by these treatments. Dietary interventions prevented NAFL-like symptoms and improved glucose homeostasis. Improvement in selected gut microbial abundance and SCFA concentration along with reduced systemic inflammation, metabolic endotoxemia and improved ileal and colonic health were observed in mice supplemented with lycopene, IMOs and their combination. Interestingly, cobiotic combination synergistically improved many of the HFD-induced alterations.
Conclusion: The present work provide evidence that new approach based on cobiotic combination (antioxidant plus prebiotic) can be employed to develop novel class of functional foods for their application against HFD-associated pathological complications.