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Metabolic adaptation to the aqueous leaf extract of Moringa oleifera Lam.-supplemented diet is related to the modulation of gut microbiota in mice


The aqueous leaf extract of Moringa oleifera Lam. (LM-A) is reported to have many health beneficial bioactivities and no obvious toxicity, but have mild adverse effects. Little is known about the mechanism of these reported adverse effects. Notably, there has been no report about the influence of LM-A on intestinal microecology. In this study, animal experiments were performed to explore the relationships between metabolic adaptation to an LM-A-supplemented diet and gut microbiota changes. After 8-week feeding with normal chow diet, the body weight of mice entered a stable period, and one of the group received daily doses of 750-mg/kg body weight LM-A by gavage for 4 weeks (assigned as LM); the other group received the vehicle (assigned as NCD). The liver weight to body weight ratio was enhanced, and the ceca were enlarged in the LM group compared with the NCD group. LM-A-supplemented-diet mice elicited a uniform metabolic adaptation, including slightly influenced fasting glucose and blood lipid profiles, significantly reduced liver triglycerides content, enhanced serum lipopolysaccharide level, activated inflammatory responses in the intestine and liver, compromised gut barrier function, and broken intestinal homeostasis. Many metabolic changes in mice were significantly correlated with altered specific gut bacteria. Changes in Firmicutes, Eubacterium rectale/Clostridium coccoides group, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Akkermansia muciniphila, segmented filamentous bacteria, Enterococcus spp., and Sutterella spp. may play an important role in the process of host metabolic adaptation to LM-A administration. Our research provides an explanation of the adverse effects of LM-A administration on normal adult individuals in the perspective of microecology.

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We thank the American Journal Experts (AJE) for the English language editing.

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Correspondence to Jun Sheng or Hongyu Xiang.

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The work was funded by Jilin Province Science and Technology Institute of China (No. 20140203001YY, Nos. 20140203024NY and 20150204076NY) and Jilin Province Development and Reform Commission of China (No. 2014Y080 and No. 2015Y051).

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of Jilin University. Compliance with Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Gao, X., Xie, Q., Liu, L. et al. Metabolic adaptation to the aqueous leaf extract of Moringa oleifera Lam.-supplemented diet is related to the modulation of gut microbiota in mice. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 101, 5115–5130 (2017).

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  • Moringa oleifera Lam.
  • LPS
  • Inflammatory
  • Intestinal homeostasis
  • AMPs
  • Sutterella
  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii
  • segmented filamentous bacteria