Goji Berry's Benefits for Gut Health and Inflammation in High-Fat Diets

Greg Howard
2nd July, 2024

Goji Berry's Benefits for Gut Health and Inflammation in High-Fat Diets

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Sun Moon University, Korea, found that Goji berries (GB) and fermented Goji berries (FGB) improved gut health in high-fat-fed rats
  • Both GB and FGB changed the gut microbiota, with GB increasing Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and FGB boosting Akkermansia muciniphila, both linked to better metabolic health
  • These changes in gut bacteria improved gut barrier integrity and reduced inflammation, protecting against the negative effects of a high-fat diet
Imbalances in gut microbiota and the destabilization of intestinal barrier equilibrium have been closely related to the evolution of metabolic disorders. A recent study conducted by researchers at Sun Moon University, Korea, investigated the effects of Goji berries (Lycium barbarum; GB) and their fermented counterpart (FGB) on intestinal integrity, inflammation, and gut microbiota composition in high-fat (HF)-fed rats[1]. This study provides valuable insights into how dietary interventions can modulate gut health and metabolic parameters. The study involved thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats, divided into four groups: low-fat (LF; 10% of calories from fat), HF (45% of calories from fat), and HF diets supplemented with either GB or FGB at 2% (w/w). Over a six-week period, the researchers monitored changes in gut microbiota composition, intestinal barrier integrity, and inflammatory profiles. The findings revealed that both GB and FGB supplementation resulted in significant changes in the gut microbiota. Specifically, GB increased the abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, while FGB led to a higher presence of Akkermansia muciniphila. These microbial species have been associated with improved obesity phenotypes and better metabolic parameters. The alterations in gut microbiota composition were correlated with enhanced gut barrier integrity, protecting against the local and systemic inflammation typically induced by a high-fat diet. This study builds on previous research that has highlighted the role of gut microbiota in metabolic health. For instance, a study on European individuals demonstrated that the gut microbiota comprises a vast array of genes, many of which are shared among individuals, suggesting a common microbial core that could be targeted for therapeutic purposes[2]. Similarly, research has shown that dietary interventions, such as blueberry supplementation, can alter gut microbiota composition and improve systemic inflammation and insulin signaling in high-fat-fed rats[3]. The current study extends these findings by demonstrating that both GB and FGB can modulate gut microbiota in a way that enhances gut barrier function and reduces inflammation. The mechanisms through which GB and FGB exert their beneficial effects were also explored. The study found that both supplements mitigated lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation by inhibiting its downstream pathway. LPS is a component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and has been identified as a triggering factor for metabolic endotoxemia, which is linked to obesity and insulin resistance[4]. By reducing LPS-induced inflammation, GB and FGB help to maintain a healthier inflammatory profile, which is crucial for managing metabolic disorders. In conclusion, the study from Sun Moon University demonstrates that Goji berries and their fermented counterpart can improve gut barrier function and inflammatory profiles in high-fat-fed rats through modulation of gut microbiota. These findings support the potential application of GB and FGB in improving gut health and managing inflammation amid metabolic challenges. The study not only corroborates earlier research on the role of gut microbiota in metabolic health but also provides new avenues for dietary interventions to combat metabolic disorders.



Main Study

1) Prebiotic Potential of Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum) in Improving Intestinal Integrity and Inflammatory Profiles via Modification of the Gut Microbiota in High-Fat Diet-Fed Rats.

Published 1st July, 2024


Related Studies

2) A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing.


3) Blueberry Supplementation Influences the Gut Microbiota, Inflammation, and Insulin Resistance in High-Fat-Diet-Fed Rats.


4) Metabolic endotoxemia initiates obesity and insulin resistance.

Journal: Diabetes, Issue: Vol 56, Issue 7, Jul 2007

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