Low molecular weight chitosan oligosaccharides (LMW-COSs) prevent obesity-related metabolic abnormalities in association with the modification of gut microbiota in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice
In this study, the two enzymatic LMW-COSs, named as LMW-COS-H and LMW-COS-L, were prepared with the average MWs of 879.6 Da and 360.9 Da, respectively. As compared to LMW-COS-L, the LMW-COS-H was more effective in ameliorating the high-fat diet (HFD)-induced metabolic abnormalities, such as obesity, hyperlipidemia, low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance. The subsequent analysis of gut microbiota showed that the supplement of LMW-COSs caused overall structural and genus/species-specific changes in the gut microbiota, which were significantly correlated with the metabolic parameters. Specifically, both of the LMW-COSs significantly decreased the relative abundance of inflammatory bacteria such as Erysipelatoclostridium and Alistipes) while that of the beneficial intestinal bacteria (such as Akkermansia and Gammaproteobacteria) increased significantly. This study suggested the potential prebiotic functions of LMW-COSs in HFD fed mice by the regulation of dysfunctional gut microbiota, alleviation of low-grade inflammation and maintaining the intestinal epithelial barrier.