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Triggering Akkermansia with dietary polyphenols: A new weapon to combat the metabolic syndrome?

Posted: August 22, 2016
Authors: Anhe FF; Pilon G; Roy D; Desjardins Y; Levy E; Marette A
Journal: Gut Microbes. 7(2):146-53

Abstract: The gut and its bacterial colonizers are now well characterized as key players in whole-body metabolism, opening new avenues of research and generating great expectation for new treatments against obesity and its cardiometabolic complications. As diet is the main environmental factor affecting the gut microbiota, it has been suggested that fruits and vegetables, whose consumption is strongly associated with a healthy lifestyle, may carry phytochemicals that could help maintain intestinal homeostasis and metabolic health. We recently demonstrated that oral administration of a cranberry extract rich in polyphenols prevented diet-induced obesity and several detrimental features of the metabolic syndrome in association with a remarkable increase in the abundance of the mucin-degrading bacterium Akkermansia in the gut microbiota of mice. This addendum provides an extended discussion in light of recent discoveries suggesting a mechanistic link between polyphenols and Akkermansia, also contemplating how this unique microorganism may be exploited to fight the metabolic syndrome.


A polyphenol-rich cranberry extract protects from diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance and intestinal inflammation in association with increased Akkermansia spp. population in the gut microbiota of mice

Posted: September 28, 2015
Authors: Anhe FF, Roy D, Pilon G, Dudonne S, Matamoros S, Varin TV, Garofalo C, Moine Q, Desjardins Y, Levy E, Marette A
Journal: Gut 64(6):872-883.

Abstract: Objective: The increasing prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) demonstrates the failure of conventional treatments to curb these diseases. The gut microbiota has been put forward as a key player in the pathophysiology of diet-induced T2D. Importantly, cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) is associated with a number of beneficial health effects. We aimed to investigate the metabolic impact of a cranberry extract (CE) on high fat/high sucrose (HFHS)-fed mice and to determine whether its consequent antidiabetic effects are related to modulations in the gut microbiota. Design C57BL/6J mice were fed either a chow or a HFHS diet. HFHS-fed mice were gavaged daily either with vehicle (water) or CE (200 mg/kg) for 8 weeks. The composition of the gut microbiota was assessed by analysing 16S rRNA gene sequences with 454 pyrosequencing. Results: CE treatment was found to reduce HFHS-induced weight gain and visceral obesity. CE treatment also decreased liver weight and triglyceride accumulation in association with blunted hepatic oxidative stress and inflammation. CE administration improved insulin sensitivity, as revealed by improved insulin tolerance, lower homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and decreased glucose-induced hyperinsulinaemia during an oral glucose tolerance test. CE treatment was found to lower intestinal triglyceride content and to alleviate intestinal inflammation and oxidative stress. Interestingly, CE treatment markedly increased the proportion of the mucin-degrading bacterium Akkermansia in our metagenomic samples. Conclusions: CE exerts beneficial metabolic effects through improving HFHS diet-induced features of the metabolic syndrome, which is associated with a proportional increase in Akkermansia spp. population.


A polyphenol-rich cranberry extract protects from diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance and intestinal inflammation in association with increased Akkermansia spp. population in the gut microbiota of mice.

Posted: April 1, 2015
Authors: Anhę FF, Roy D, Pilon G, Dudonné S, Matamoros S, Varin TV, Garofalo C, Moine Q, Desjardins Y, Levy E, Marette A
Journal: Gut pii: gutjnl-2014-307142

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The increasing prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) demonstrates the failure of conventional treatments to curb these diseases. The gut microbiota has been put forward as a key player in the pathophysiology of
diet-induced T2D. Importantly, cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) is associated with a number of beneficial health effects. We aimed to investigate the metabolic impact of a cranberry extract (CE) on high fat/high sucrose (HFHS)-fed mice and to determine whether its consequent antidiabetic effects are related to modulations in the gut microbiota.
DESIGN: C57BL/6J mice were fed either a chow or a HFHS diet. HFHS-fed mice were gavaged daily either with vehicle (water) or CE (200 mg/kg) for 8 weeks. The composition of the gut microbiota was assessed by analysing 16S rRNA gene
sequences with 454 pyrosequencing.
RESULTS: CE treatment was found to reduce HFHS-induced weight gain and visceral obesity. CE treatment also decreased liver weight and triglyceride accumulation in association with blunted hepatic oxidative stress and inflammation. CE
administration improved insulin sensitivity, as revealed by improved insulin tolerance, lower homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and decreased glucose-induced hyperinsulinaemia during an oral glucose tolerance test. CE treatment was found to lower intestinal triglyceride content and to alleviate intestinal inflammation and oxidative stress. Interestingly, CE treatment markedly increased the proportion of the mucin-degrading bacterium Akkermansia in
our metagenomic samples.
CONCLUSIONS: CE exerts beneficial metabolic effects through improving HFHS
diet-induced features of the metabolic syndrome, which is associated with a
proportional increase in Akkermansia spp. population.


Effects of cranberry powder on biomarkers of oxidative stress and glucose control in db/db mice.

Posted: February 15, 2014
Authors: Kim MJ, Chung JY, Kim JH, Kwak HK
Journal: Nutr Res Pract 7(6):430-8

Abstract: Increased oxidative stress in obese diabetes may have causal effects on diabetic complications, including dyslipidemia. Lipopolysccharides (LPS) along with an atherogenic diet have been found to increase oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Cranberry has been recognized as having beneficial effects on diseases related to oxidative stress. Therefore, we employed obese diabetic animals treated with an atherogenic diet and LPS, with the aim of examining the effects of cranberry powder (CP) on diabetic related metabolic conditions, including lipid profiles, serum insulin and glucose, and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Forty C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice were divided into the following five groups: normal diet + saline, atherogenic diet + saline, atherogenic diet + LPS, atherogenic diet + 5% CP + LPS, and atherogenic diet + 10% CP + LPS. Consumption of an atherogenic diet resulted in elevation of serum total cholesterol and atherogenic index (AI) and reduction of high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol. However, with 10% CP, the increase in mean HDL-cholesterol level was close to that of the group with a normal diet, whereas AI was maintained at a higher level than that of the group with a normal diet. LPS induced elevated serum insulin level was lowered by greater than 60% with CP (P < 0.05), and mean serum glucose level was reduced by approximately 19% with 5% CP (P > 0.05). Mean activity of liver cytosolic glutathione peroxidase was significantly increased by LPS injection, however it was reduced back to the value without LPS when the diet was fortified with 10% CP (P < 0.05). In groups with CP, a reduction in mean levels of serum protein carbonyl tended to occur in a dose dependent manner. Particularly with 10% CP, a reduction of approximately 89% was observed (P > 0.05). Overall results suggest that fortification of the atherogenic diet with CP may have potential health benefits for obese diabetes with high oxidative stress, by modulation of physical conditions, including some biomarkers of oxidative stress.


Effects of long-term cranberry supplementation on endocrine pancreas in aging rats

Posted: January 22, 2012
Authors: Zhu M, Hu J, Perez E, Phillips D, Kim W, Ghaedian R, Napora JK, Zou S
Journal: J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 66(11):1139-51

Abstract: The effects of long-term cranberry consumption on age-related changes in endocrine pancreas are not fully understood. Here we treated male Fischer 344 rats with either 2% whole cranberry powder supplemented or normal rodent chow from 6 to 22 month old. Both groups displayed an age-related decline in basal plasma insulin concentrations, but this age-related decline was delayed by cranberry. Cranberry supplementation led to increased &#946;-cell glucose responsiveness during the oral glucose tolerance test. Portal insulin concentration was 7.6-fold higher in rats fed cranberry, coupled with improved &#946;-cell function. However, insulin resistance values were similar in both groups. Total &#946;-cell mass and expression of pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 and insulin within islets were significantly enhanced in rats fed cranberry relative to controls. Furthermore, cranberry increased insulin release of an insulin-producing &#946;-cell line, revealing its insulinotropic effect. These findings suggest that cranberry is of particular benefit to &#946;-cell function in normal aging rats.