Tomato Fiber Reduces Fatty Liver by Improving Gut Health and Bile Acid Balance

Jenn Hoskins
11th June, 2024

Tomato Fiber Reduces Fatty Liver by Improving Gut Health and Bile Acid Balance

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences found that tomato pectin (TP) can help reduce symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in mice
  • TP increased the diversity of gut microbiota, boosting beneficial bacteria and reducing harmful ones
  • TP altered bile acid metabolism, leading to increased bile acid production and excretion, which helped lower blood lipid levels associated with NAFLD
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a growing global health concern, often linked to diet and lifestyle factors. Recent research conducted by the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences has explored the potential of tomato pectin (TP) to mitigate the effects of NAFLD by focusing on the gut microbiota-bile acid axis[1]. This study sheds light on how TP might offer a dietary intervention strategy to combat NAFLD through gut microbiota modulation and bile acid regulation. In the study, mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) exhibited symptoms of liver steatosis and inflammation, both hallmarks of NAFLD. However, the administration of TP significantly alleviated these symptoms. The researchers observed that TP increased the diversity of gut microbiota, enhancing the abundance of beneficial bacteria while suppressing harmful or conditionally pathogenic bacteria. This shift in gut microbiota composition was crucial for the anti-NAFLD effects of TP, as confirmed by further experiments involving antibiotic-caused microbiome depletion. The study also delved into the mechanisms behind this effect, focusing on bile acid (BA) metabolism. TP intervention led to significant changes in fecal bile acid metabolism, particularly in functional conjugated bile acids. These changes inhibited the ileum FXR/FGF15 signaling pathway, which is known to regulate hepatic bile acid production. By inhibiting this pathway, TP stimulated the production of bile acids in the liver. Furthermore, TP treatment was found to accelerate bile acid excretion, promote bile acid transportation, inhibit bile acid reabsorption, and facilitate cholesterol efflux. These combined effects helped relieve HFD-induced hyperlipidemia, a condition characterized by elevated levels of lipids in the blood, which is closely linked to NAFLD. The findings from this study align with and expand upon previous research on the role of gut microbiota and dietary interventions in managing metabolic diseases. For instance, a study on flavonoids from whole-grain oat (FO) showed that FO improved serum lipid profiles and decreased body weight and lipid deposition in HFD-fed mice by regulating the gut-liver axis, bile acid metabolism, and gut microbiota[2]. Similarly, resveratrol has been shown to alleviate NAFLD by improving gut barrier function and modulating gut microbiota composition, reducing harmful bacteria and increasing beneficial ones[3]. Another study on phenolic extract from noni fruit (NFE) demonstrated its potential in alleviating HFD-induced liver injury and metabolic comorbidities by restoring gut microbiota composition and regulating liver metabolite profiles[4]. The current study on TP builds on these findings by offering a new dietary intervention strategy that targets the gut microbiota-bile acid axis. By enhancing the diversity of gut microbiota and modulating bile acid metabolism, TP presents a promising approach to managing NAFLD and its associated metabolic disturbances. In conclusion, the research conducted by the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences provides compelling evidence that tomato pectin can mitigate the effects of NAFLD through the regulation of gut microbiota and bile acid metabolism. These findings highlight the potential of TP as a dietary intervention strategy, contributing to the growing body of research on the gut-liver axis and its role in metabolic health.



Main Study

1) Tomato Pectin Ameliorated Hepatic Steatosis in High-Fat-Diet Mice by Modulating Gut Microbiota and Bile Acid Metabolism.

Published 10th June, 2024

Related Studies

2) Flavonoids from Whole-Grain Oat Alleviated High-Fat Diet-Induced Hyperlipidemia via Regulating Bile Acid Metabolism and Gut Microbiota in Mice.

3) Targeting the gut microbiota with resveratrol: a demonstration of novel evidence for the management of hepatic steatosis.

4) Noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) fruit phenolic extract supplementation ameliorates NAFLD by modulating insulin resistance, oxidative stress, inflammation, liver metabolism and gut microbiota.

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