Açai is a rich source of anthocyanins and has been used as a dietary supplement and as an active pharmaceutical ingredient. Growing evidence indicates that host-microbial interactions played a vital role in the host metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the anthocyanin-rich extract of açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) fruit (AEA) regarding its antiobesity activity and gut microbiota-modulating effect.
Thirty-six male SPF C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into three groups and fed a low-fat diet, high-fat diet, or a high-fat diet supplemented with AEA for 14 wk. The antiobesity effect of AEA was evaluated, and the microbial changes were analyzed by 16S rRNA sequencing. Spearman correlation analysis was used to determine the correlations between gut microbiota and obesity-related indicators.
The results showed that AEA treatment alleviated HFD-induced obesity, hepatic steatosis, and insulin resistance. Moreover, AEA supplement changed the structure of the gut microbiota, and significantly enriched Akkermansia muciniphila, which was negatively correlated with the physical biomarkers (e.g., serum glucose, insulin, and triacylglycerols) and the genes involved in lipid metabolism.
AEA alleviated high-fat diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis. The microbial changes may be one of the potential mechanisms for AEA in improving obesity and obesity-related disorders.