Artemisia sphaerocephala krasch polysaccharide prevents hepatic steatosis in high fructose-fed mice associated with changes in gut microbiota
High fructose (HF) diet-induced liver steatosis is associated with intestinal microbiota dysbiosis. This study was to assess the modulatory effects of Artemisia sphaerocephala Krash seed polysaccharide (ASKP) on fatty acid metabolism and intestinal microbiota in mice fed with HF water. Administration of HF-fed mice with ASKP prevented weight increase, reduced fat accumulation and blunted metabolic inflammation and endotoxaemia. ASKP-treated mice displayed the improved glucose tolerance and fully exhibited protection against hepatic steatosis. Besides, ASKP was effective in improving the changes in composition of the liver fatty acids via modulating hepatic SREBP-1c, SCD-1, ACC and FAS expressions. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that ASKP treatment modified the gut microbial species at family level with the decrease in the Firmicutes and an increase in the Bacteroidetes. Interestingly, ASKP markedly increased the proportion of the mucin-degrading bacterium Akkermansia in HF-fed mice. These findings support the beneficial metabolic effects of ASKP through improving HF-induced features of liver steatosis, which is associated with health maintenance of intestinal microecosystem.