Background Bile acid binding resin (BAR) absorbs intestinal bile acids, and improves obesity and metabolic disorders, but the precise mechanism remains to be clarified. Recent findings reveal that obesity is associated with skewed intestinal microbiota. Thus, we investigated the effect of BAR on intestinal microbiota and the role of microbiota in the prevention of obesity in high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice. Procedures Male Balb/c mice were fed a low-fat diet (LFD), high-fat diet (HFD), or HFD with BAR (HFD + BAR), and then metabolic parameters, caecal microbiota, and metabolites were investigated. The same interventions were conducted in germ-free and antibiotic-treated mice. Main findings The frequency of Clostridium leptum subgroup was higher in both HFD-fed and HFD + BAR-fed mice than in LFD-fed mice. The frequency of Bacteroides-Prevotella group was lower in HFD-fed mice than in LFD-fed mice, but the frequency was higher in HFD + BAR-fed mice than in HFD-fed mice. Caecal propionate was lower in HFD-fed mice than in LFD-fed mice, and higher in HFD + BAR-fed mice than in HFD-fed mice. HFD + BAR-fed mice showed lower adiposity than HFD-fed mice, and the reduction was not observed in germ-free or antibiotic-treated mice. Colonized germ-free mice showed a reduction in adiposity by BAR administration. Energy expenditure was lower in HFD-fed mice and higher in HFD + BAR-fed mice, but the increments induced by administration of BAR were not observed in antibiotic-treated mice. Conclusions Modulation of intestinal microbiota by BAR could be a novel therapeutic approach for obesity.
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