Lentil ( Lens culinaris Medikus) Diet Affects the Gut Microbiome and Obesity Markers in Rat

J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Aug 22;66(33):8805-8813. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b03254. Epub 2018 Aug 13.


Lentil, a moderate-energy high-protein pulse crop, provides significant amounts of essential nutrients for healthy living. The objective of this study was to determine if a lentil-based diet affects food and energy intake, body weight, percent body fat, liver weight, and body plasma triacylglycerols (TGs) as well as the composition of fecal microbiota in rats. A total of 36 Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with either a standard diet, a 3.5% high amylose corn starch diet, or a 70.8% red lentil diet for 6 weeks. By week 6, rats fed the lentil diet had significantly lower mean body weight (443 ± 47 g/rat) than those fed the control (511 ± 51 g/rat) or corn (502 ± 38 g/rat) diets. Further, mean percent body fat and TG concentration were lower, and lean body mass was higher in rats fed the lentil diet than those fed the corn diet. Fecal abundance of Actinobacteria and Bacteriodetes were greater in rats fed the lentil or corn starch diets than those fed the control diet. Fecal abundance of Firmicutes, a bacterial phylum comprising multiple pathogenic species, decreased in rats fed the lentil and high-amylose corn starch diets vs the control diet. The lentil-based diet decreased body weight, percent body fat, and plasma triacylglycerols in rats and suppressed intestinal colonization by pathogens.

Keywords: corn; gut microbiome; lentil; obesity; prebiotic carbohydrates; rat study.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Energy Intake
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Lens Plant / chemistry
  • Lens Plant / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / microbiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Triglycerides