Non-absorbable apple procyanidins prevent obesity associated with gut microbial and metabolomic changes

Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 10:6:31208. doi: 10.1038/srep31208.


Several studies have suggested that flavan-3-ols/procyanidins are associated with a reduced risk of developing obesity and metabolic syndrome. However, the role of highly polymeric procyanidins (PP), which are major non-absorbable flavonoids, in the biological effects, is not completely understood. Here, we show that 0.5% PP administration for 20 weeks alleviated obesity and regulate expression of genes related to lipid metabolism in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat/high-sucrose diet. PP-treatment attenuated weight gain and inflammatory effects including lipopolysaccharide and gut permeability. Additionally, metabolic urine profiling using high-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight/mass spectrometry demonstrated that PP-treatment decreased the levels of endogenous metabolites associated with insulin resistance. Furthermore, microbial 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the cecum demonstrated that PP administration markedly decreased the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio and increased eight times the proportion of Akkermansia. These data suggest that PPs influence the gut microbiota and the intestinal metabolome to produce beneficial effects on metabolic homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteroidetes
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Cecum / microbiology
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Sugars
  • Firmicutes
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Homeostasis
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malus / chemistry*
  • Metabolome
  • Metabolomics
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Permeability
  • Proanthocyanidins / analysis
  • Proanthocyanidins / chemistry*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / metabolism
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Dietary Sugars
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S