The influence of wasabi on the gut microbiota of high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced hypertensive Wistar rats

J Hum Hypertens. 2021 Feb;35(2):170-180. doi: 10.1038/s41371-020-0359-8. Epub 2020 May 26.


The human gut microbiota plays a critical role in the regulation of adiposity, obesity and metabolic and cardiovascular disease. Wasabi is a pungent spice and its active component, allyl isothiocyanate, improves plasma triacylglycerol, cholesterol and high blood pressure in rodents, but it is unclear if this occurs through alterations to the composition of the microbiota. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Wasabi japonica stem and rhizome blend on ameliorating cardiovascular disease parameters including plasma sodium concentration, systolic blood pressure (SBP), plasma endothelin-1 and angiotensin II concentrations by altering the gut microbiota in a Wistar rat model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Rats were randomized to receive a corn starch or high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet for 8 weeks before being allocated to supplementation with wasabi powder (5% (w/w) in food) or not for an additional 8 weeks. At the end of the trial, rats were grouped according to blood pressure status. Wasabi supplementation prevented the development of hypertension and was also associated with significantly increased abundance of Allobaculum, Sutterella, Uncl. S247, Uncl. Coriobacteriaceae and Bifidobacterium. Hypertension was positively correlated with higher abundance of Oscillospira, Uncl. Lachnospiraceae and Uncl. Clostridiales, Uncl. Bacteroidales and Butyricimonas. Oscillospira and Butyricimonas abundances were specifically positively correlated with systolic blood pressure. Overall, the improved host cardiovascular health in diet-induced obese rats supplemented with wasabi powder may involve changes to the gut microbiota composition.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbohydrates
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Carbohydrates