Chlorophyll Supplementation in Early Life Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity and Modulates Gut Microbiota in Mice

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Nov;63(21):e1801219. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201801219. Epub 2019 Aug 5.


Scope: The high rates of overweight and obesity, currently occurring in children, underline the urgent need for preventive strategies in early life before excess weight is gained.

Methods and results: In this study, the alleviating obesity property of chlorophyll supplementation in early life is investigated using a 4-week-old C57BL/6J male mice model with obesity induced by high-fat diet (HFD). The present study finds that chlorophyll supplementation in early life can effectively retard body weight gain, improve glucose tolerance, as well as reduce low-grade inflammation in HFD-fed mice. Consequently, high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA demonstrates that chlorophyll supplementation significantly reversed the HFD-induced gut dysbiosis, as evidenced by the decreased Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratios as chlorophyll is introduced. Furthermore, in chlorophyll-fed mice, the increased abundance of Blautia and norank_f_Bacteroidales_S24-7_group, and the decreased abundance of Lactococcus and Lactobacillus, bring about the possibility that chlorophyll's alterations to the gut microbiota composition would be the main factors for dietary chlorophyll alleviating obesity-related indexes.

Conclusion: Taken together, these results reveal that the intake of chlorophyll in early life may propel healthy weight management and produce beneficial effects against potential obesity in later life.

Keywords: chlorophyll; early life; gut microbiota; obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chlorophyll / pharmacology*
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endotoxins / blood
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / microbiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Endotoxins
  • Lipids
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Chlorophyll