Geraniin, an ellagitannin, has ameliorative properties against high-fat diet (HFD)-induced metabolic syndrome. Since geraniin has poor bioavailability, we hypothesised the interaction of this compound with gut microbiota as the main mechanism for improving metabolic aberrations. Male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into normal diet (ND)- and HFD-fed animals and treated with geraniin and an enriched extract of geraniin (GEE). We observed that 5 mg geraniin and 115 mg GEE supplementation significantly attenuated glucose intolerance, lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, total cholesterol, triacylglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein; improved insulin sensitivity; and significantly increased adiponectin and hepatic PPARα expression. Although geraniin and GEE did not significantly alter the gut microbial composition, we found an increment in the relative abundance of a few butyrate producers such as Alloprevotella, Blautia, Lachnospiraceae NK4A136 group, and Clostridium sensu stricto 1. Geraniin and its enriched extract's ability to ameliorate metabolic syndrome parameters while positively affecting the growth of butyrate-producing bacteria suggests its potential prebiotic role.
Keywords: Nephelium lappaceum L.; ellagitannin; gut microbiota; metabolic syndrome; prebiotic.