Background: Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints. Although the causes of constipation are varied, dietary habits have a significant influence. Excessive fat intake is suggested as one of the main causes of constipation; however, the exact mechanism is unknown. Aims: To investigate whether a high-fat diet (HFD) causes constipation in mice and to clarify the underlying mechanism, focusing on the amount of colonic mucus. Methods: Six-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into two groups: mice fed with HFD and those with normal chow diet (NCD). Fecal weight, water content, total gastrointestinal transit time, and colon transit time were measured to determine whether the mice were constipated. The colonic mucus was evaluated by immunostaining and quantified by spectrometry. Malondialdehyde (MDA) was measured using the thiobarbituric acid (TBA) test as a marker for oxidative stress. Results: Compared to the NCD group, the weight of feces was less in the HFD group. In the functional experiment, the total gastrointestinal transit time and colon transit time were longer in the HFD group. Furthermore, HFD significantly reduced the amount of colonic mucus. In addition, the reduction in colonic mucus caused by surfactant resulted in constipation in the NCD group. Conclusions: HFD causes constipation with delayed colon transit time possibly via the reduction in colonic mucus in mice.
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