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A Rosemary Extract Rich in Carnosic Acid Selectively Modulates Caecum Microbiota and Inhibits β-Glucosidase Activity, Altering Fiber and Short Chain Fatty Acids Fecal Excretion in Lean and Obese Female Rats

AuthorsRomo Vaquero, María ; Selma, María Victoria ; Larrosa, Mar ; Obiol, María ; García-Villalba, Rocío ; González-Barrio, Rocío ; Issaly, Nicolas; Flanagan, John; Roller, Marc; Tomás Barberán, Francisco ; García-Conesa, María Teresa
Issue Date14-Apr-2014
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 9(4): e94687 (2014)
Abstract[Background] Carnosic acid (CA) and rosemary extracts (RE) show body-weight, energy metabolism and inflammation regulatory properties in animal models but the mechanisms are not yet understood. Gut microbiota plays an important role in the host metabolism and inflammatory status and is modulated by the diet. The aim of this research was to investigate whether a RE enriched in CA affected caecum microbiota composition and activity in a rat model of genetic obesity.
[Methods and Principal Findings] A RE (40% CA) was administered with the diet (0.5% w/w) to lean (fa/+) and obese (fa/fa) female Zucker rats for 64 days. Changes in the microbiota composition and β-glucosidase activity in the caecum and in the levels of macronutrients and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in feces were examined. The RE increased the Blautia coccoides and Bacteroides/Prevotella groups and reduced the Lactobacillus/Leuconostoc/Pediococccus group in both types of animals. Clostridium leptum was significantly decreased and Bifidobacterium increased only in the lean rats. β-Glucosidase activity was significantly reduced and fecal fiber excretion increased in the two genotypes. The RE also increased the main SCFA excreted in the feces of the obese rats but decreased them in the lean rats reflecting important differences in the uptake and metabolism of these molecules between the two genotypes.
[Conclusions] Our results indicate that the consumption of a RE enriched in CA modifies microbiota composition and decreases β-glucosidase activity in the caecum of female Zucker rats while it increases fiber fecal elimination. These results may contribute to explain the body weight gain reducing effects of the RE. The mutated leptin receptor of the obese animals significantly affects the microbiota composition, the SCFA fecal excretion and the host response to the RE intake.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0094687
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