Treatment with camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) prevents obesity by altering the gut microbiota and increasing energy expenditure in diet-induced obese mice

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Abstract

Objective

The consumption of fruits is strongly associated with better health and higher bacterial diversity in the gut microbiota (GM). Camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) is an Amazonian fruit with a unique phytochemical profile, strong antioxidant potential and purported anti-inflammatory potential.

Design

By using metabolic tests coupled with 16S rRNA gene-based taxonomic profiling and faecal microbial transplantation (FMT), we have assessed the effect of a crude extract of camu camu (CC) on obesity and associated immunometabolic disorders in high fat/high sucrose (HFHS)-fed mice.

Results

Treatment of HFHS-fed mice with CC prevented weight gain, lowered fat accumulation and blunted metabolic inflammation and endotoxaemia. CC-treated mice displayed improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and were also fully protected against hepatic steatosis. These effects were linked to increased energy expenditure and upregulation of uncoupling protein 1 mRNA expression in the brown adipose tissue (BAT) of CC-treated mice, which strongly correlated with the mRNA expression of the membrane bile acid (BA) receptor TGR5. Moreover, CC-treated mice showed altered plasma BA pool size and composition and drastic changes in the GM (eg, bloom of Akkermansia muciniphila and a strong reduction of Lactobacillus). Germ-free (GF) mice reconstituted with the GM of CC-treated mice gained less weight and displayed higher energy expenditure than GF-mice colonised with the FM of HFHS controls.

Conclusion

Our results show that CC prevents visceral and liver fat deposition through BAT activation and increased energy expenditure, a mechanism that is dependent on the GM and linked to major changes in the BA pool size and composition.

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