The Effect of Chickpea Dietary Fiber on Lipid Metabolism and Gut Microbiota in High-Fat Diet-Induced Hyperlipidemia in Rats

J Med Food. 2021 Feb;24(2):124-134. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2020.4800. Epub 2021 Jan 28.


Hyperlipidemia is a metabolic disorder characterized by high lipid levels, which may lead to cardiovascular diseases. Evidence suggests that improving the gut microbiota homeostasis is of great importance in lipid metabolism. Dietary fiber may positively regulate blood lipid and intestinal microbiota, therefore, we have investigated the effect of chickpea dietary fiber (CDF) on high-fat diet (HFD)-induced hyperlipidemia and gut bacterial dysbiosis. Fifty male Sprague Dawley rats purchased for this study were randomly divided into 5 groups of 10 rats each. The control group was fed with normal diet (ND), while the other four groups were all fed with HFD for inducing hyperlipidemia. Then one of the four HFD groups continued to be fed with only HFD, and the other three groups were fed with CDF in different doses: high CDF (30 g CDF/kg of HFD), medium CDF (15 g CDF/kg of HFD), and low CDF (5 g CDF/kg of HFD). After CDF treatment, the lipid level in serum was determined through biochemical methods, and microbial content of the fecal sample was determined by 16S rDNA sequencing. We found that CDF could decrease the levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increase the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol significantly. The diversity of gut microbiota in the ND group and CDF-treated groups were higher than HFD group. The β-diversity analysis showed that there were significant differences in gut microbiota among HFD-, ND-, and CDF-treated groups. Rats in CDF groups tended to be similar and interactive. CDF can effectively increase the abundance of Bacteroides and Lactobacillus in rats and increase the level of propionic acid. These results indicated that CDF might affect serum lipid and gut bacterial ecosystem positively.

Keywords: 16s rRNA gene sequencing; chickpeas; dietary fiber; gut microbiota.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cicer* / chemistry
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Fiber* / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / drug effects
  • Hyperlipidemias* / therapy
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Dietary Fiber