L-Fucose ameliorates high-fat diet-induced obesity and hepatic steatosis in mice

J Transl Med. 2018 Dec 7;16(1):344. doi: 10.1186/s12967-018-1718-x.


Background: L-Fucose (Fuc), a six-deoxy hexose monosaccharide, is present endogenously in humans and animals and has a wide range of biological functions. In the present study, we aimed to examine the effect of Fuc on obesity and hepatic steatosis in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD).

Methods: C57BL/6 mice were fed a normal chow (NC) or HFD for 18 weeks to induce obesity and fatty liver. Fuc was administered intragastrically from the 8th week to the end of the experiment (18 weeks).

Results: Metagenomic analysis showed that HFD altered the genomic profile of gut microbiota in the mice; specifically, expression of alpha-L-fucosidase, the gene responsible for Fuc generation, was markedly reduced in the HFD group compared with that in the NC group. Fuc treatment decreased body weight gain, fat accumulation, and hepatic triglyceride elevation in HFD-fed mice. In addition, Fuc decreased the levels of endotoxin-producing bacteria of the Desulfovibrionaceae family and restored HFD-induced enteric dysbiosis at both compositional and functional levels.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that Fuc might be a novel strategy to treat HFD-induced obesity and fatty liver.

Keywords: Gut microbiota; Hepatic steatosis; High-fat diet; L-Fucose; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Cecum / drug effects
  • Cecum / microbiology
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Dysbiosis / complications
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology
  • Dysbiosis / pathology
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Fucose / pharmacology
  • Fucose / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Insulin
  • Metagenomics
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / complications*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / drug therapy*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / microbiology
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / microbiology
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Insulin
  • Fucose