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Omega-3 fatty acids prevent early-life antibiotic exposure-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis and later-life obesity

International Journal of Obesity volume 40, pages 10391042 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Early-life antibiotic exposure can disrupt the founding intestinal microbial community and lead to obesity later in life. Recent studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce body weight gain and chronic inflammation through modulation of the gut microbiota. We hypothesize that increased tissue levels of omega-3 fatty acids may prevent antibiotic-induced alteration of gut microbiota and obesity later in life. Here, we utilize the fat-1 transgenic mouse model, which can endogenously produce omega-3 fatty acids and thereby eliminates confounding factors of diet, to show that elevated tissue levels of omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduce body weight gain and the severity of insulin resistance, fatty liver and dyslipidemia resulting from early-life exposure to azithromycin. These effects were associated with a reversal of antibiotic-induced dysbiosis of gut microbiota in fat-1 mice. These results demonstrate the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids on antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis and obesity, and suggest the potential utility of omega-3 supplementation as a safe and effective means for the prevention of obesity in children who are exposed to antibiotics.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the generous funding from Sansun Life Sciences and the Fortune Education Foundation. We are also grateful to Marina Kang for her editorial assistance and Amy Goodale for her experimental assistance.

Author Contributions

JXK and KK designed the study; KK, BW, X-YL, and AKB performed experiments; KK and JXK analyzed data and wrote the paper.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Laboratory for Lipid Medicine and Technology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

    • K Kaliannan
    • , B Wang
    • , X-Y Li
    •  & J X Kang
  2. Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

    • A K Bhan

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Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to J X Kang.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2016.27

Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on International Journal of Obesity website (http://www.nature.com/ijo)

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