JOURNAL ARTICLE

Anti-obesity Effect of Capsaicin in Mice Fed with High-Fat Diet Is Associated with an Increase in Population of the Gut Bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila

Wei Shen, Mengyu Shen, Xia Zhao, Hongbin Zhu, Yuhui Yang, Shuguang Lu, Yinling Tan, Gang Li, Ming Li, Jing Wang, Fuquan Hu, Shuai Le
Frontiers in Microbiology 2017, 8: 272
28280490
Capsaicin (CAP) reduces body weight mainly through activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) cation channel. However, recent evidence indicates that the gut microbiota influences many physiological processes in host and might provoke obesity. This study determined whether the anti-obesity effect of CAP is related to the changes in gut microbiota. C57BL/6 mice were fed either with high-fat diet (HFD) or HFD with CAP (HFD-CAP) for 9 weeks. We observed a significantly reduced weight gain and improved glucose tolerance in HFD-CAP-fed mice compared with HFD-fed mice. 16S rRNA gene sequencing results showed a decrease of phylum Proteobacteria in HFD-CAP-fed mice. In addition, HFD-CAP-fed mice showed a higher abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, a mucin-degrading bacterium with beneficial effects on host metabolism. Further studies found that CAP directly up-regulates the expression of Mucin 2 gene Muc2 and antimicrobial protein gene Reg3g in the intestine. These data suggest that the anti-obesity effect of CAP is associated with a modest modulation of the gut microbiota.

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