Effect of industrial trans-fatty acids-enriched diet on gut microbiota of C57BL/6 mice

Eur J Nutr. 2019 Oct;58(7):2625-2638. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1810-2. Epub 2018 Aug 17.


Purpose: Previous studies have shown that industrially originated trans-fatty acids (iTFAs) are associated with several chronic diseases, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Because gut microbiota play a critical role in human health, diet competent induced gut microbiota dysbiosis may contributing to disease pathogenesis. Therefore, the present study examined the impact of iTFA on gut microbiota, help understanding the underling mechanism of iTFA-associated chronic diseases.

Methods: Forty male 8-week-old mice were divided into 4 groups and randomly assigned to diets containing soybean oil (non-iTFA) or partially hydrogenated soybean oil (iTFA). The intervention groups were: (1) low soybean oil (LS); (2) high soybean oil (HS); (3) low partially hydrogenated oil (LH) and (4) high partially hydrogenated oil (HH). The gut microbiota profiles were determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Physiological parameters and the inflammatory status of the small intestine and other tissues were analyzed. Short-chain fatty acid levels in feces were measured using gas chromatography.

Results: The intake of iTFA increased the abundance of well-documented 'harmful' bacteria, such as Proteobacteria and Desulfovibrionaceae (P < 0.05), whereas it decreased relative abundance of 'beneficial' bacteria, such as Bacteroidetes, Lachnospiraceae, Bacteroidales S24-7 (P < 0.05). Surprisingly, the intake of iTFA increased the abundance of the probiotic Lactobacillaceae (P < 0.05). Additionally, the intake of iTFA induced increase of inflammatory parameters, as well as a numerical decrease of fecal butyric acid and valeric acid.

Conclusions: This study, to our knowledge, is the first to demonstrate that the consumption of iTFA resulted in a significant dysbiosis of gut microbiota, which may contribute to the development of chronic diseases associated with iTFA.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene sequencing; Gut microbiota; Short-chain fatty acid; Trans-fatty acid.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Soybean Oil / administration & dosage
  • Trans Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Trans Fatty Acids / adverse effects*


  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • Soybean Oil