High protein diets may protect against diet-induced obesity, but little is known regarding the effects of different protein sources consumed at standard levels. We investigated how a mixture of lean seafood or lean meat in a Western background diet modulated diet-induced obesity, energy metabolism and gut microbiota. Male C57BL/6J mice fed a Western diet (WD) containing a mixture of lean seafood (seafood WD) for 12weeks accumulated less fat mass than mice fed a WD containing a mixture of lean meat (meat WD). Meat WD-fed mice exhibited increased fasting blood glucose, impaired glucose clearance, elevated fasting plasma insulin and increased plasma and liver lipid levels. We observed no first choice preference for either of the WDs, but over time, mice fed the seafood WD consumed less energy than mice fed the meat WD. Mice fed the seafood WD exhibited higher spontaneous locomotor activity and a lower respiratory exchange ratio (RER) than mice fed the meat WD. Thus, higher activity together with the decreased energy intake contributed to the different phenotypes observed in mice fed the seafood WD compared to mice fed the meat WD. Comparison of the gut microbiomes of mice fed the two WDs revealed significant differences in the relative abundance of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to the orders Bacteroidales and Clostridiales, with genes involved in metabolism of aromatic amino acids exhibiting higher relative abundance in the microbiomes of mice fed the seafood WD.
Keywords: Dietary protein; Meat; Microbiota; Obesity; Protein source; Seafood; Western diet.
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