This basic research sought to better understand how soluble dietary fibers exert their beneficial effect on body weight and glucose control. The researchers show that two short-chain fatty acids, which are produced by fermentation of soluble fiber by gut bacteria, activate intestinal gluconeogenesis (IGN) gene expression through different, but complementary, mechanisms. One of the mechanisms activates IGN gene expression through a gut-brain neural circuit. Researchers observed that the regulation of IGN in mice is crucial for realizing the metabolic benefits associated with ingestion of soluble fiber.

Here is the key point of the study from Gilles Mithieux lab :

  • Propionate directly initiates portal-brain neural communication.
  • Butyrate and propionate induce intestinal gluconeogenesis via different mechanisms.
  • Intestinal gluconeogenesis provides a causal link for benefits of dietary fiber.
  • Propionate and butyrate positively influence the host metabolism

Check our interview with Filipp De Vadder for more information.

De Vadder F, Kovatcheva-Datchary P, Goncalves D, Vinera J, Zitoun C, Duchampt A, Bäckhed F, Mithieux G. Microbiota-generated metabolites promote metabolic benefits via gut-brain neural circuits. Cell. 2014 Jan 16;156(1-2):84-96. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.12.016. Source : Cell