Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 1689–1697 | Cite as

Alterations of the gut microbiota in high-fat diet mice is strongly linked to oxidative stress

  • Yi Qiao
  • Jin Sun
  • Yinyi Ding
  • Guowei Le
  • Yonghui ShiEmail author
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


Alterations of the gut microbiota induced by diet exert a strong influence on the development of metabolic syndrome. In this study, we prove the hypothesis that the long-term high-fat diet (HFD) may influence gut microbiota directly and/or indirectly by changing the redox state. Lipoic acid (LA), as a universal antioxidant, was used to improve the redox state. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), and malondialdehyde (MDA) were analyzed to profile oxidative stress states. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to describe gut flora structures, while plate count was employed for the quantitative analysis of Escherichia coli, lactobacilli, and enterococcus. The influence of redox state on the vitality of gut-derived bacteria was measured in vitro. ROS and MDA, which significantly decreased in LA mice compared with HFD mice, showed a strong positive association with E. coli and enterococcus (P < 0.05) and a negative association with lactobacilli (P < 0.05). Increased T-AOC in LA mice showed a high positive association with lactobacilli (P < 0.05) and a negative correlation with E. coli and enterococcus. These correlations implied that the dietary effects on the gut microbiota were conferred, at least in part, through an effect on oxidative stress. This study provides evidence that modulation of the redox state by an antioxidant has the potential to improve gut microbiota, which has relevance for metabolic health.


Gut microbiota Oxidative stress High-fat diet Lipoic acid 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30671525), the 12th Five-Year Plan for Science and Technology Development (No. 2012BAD33B05) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. JUSRP111A32).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi Qiao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yinyi Ding
    • 1
  • Guowei Le
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yonghui Shi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Food Science and TechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  2. 2.Food Nutrition and Functional Factors Research Center, School of Food Science and TechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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