Fermented foods represent a significant portion of human diets with several beneficial effects. Foods produced by bacterial fermentation are enriched in short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are functional products of dietary fibers via gut microbial fermentation. In addition to energy sources, SCFAs also act as signaling molecules via G-protein coupled receptors such as FFAR2 and FFAR3. Hence, dietary SCFAs in fermented foods may have a direct influence on metabolic functions. However, the detailed mechanism by dietary SCFAs remains unclear. Here, we show that dietary SCFAs protected against high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice in parallel with increased plasma SCFAs without changing cecal SCFA or gut microbial composition. Dietary SCFAs suppressed hepatic weight and lipid synthesis. These effects were abolished in FFAR3-deficient mice but not FFAR2-deficient. Thus, SCFAs supplementation improved hepatic metabolic functions via FFAR3 without influencing intestinal environment. These findings could help to promote the development of functional foods using SCFAs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes