The gut microbiota is an important contributor to the worldwide prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS), which includes obesity and diabetes. The anti-MS effects exerted by Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis GCL2505 (BlaG), a highly proliferative Bifidobacterium strain in the gut, and B. longum ssp. longum JCM1217T (BloJ) were comparatively examined. BlaG treatment reduced visceral fat accumulation and improved glucose tolerance, whereas BloJ had no effect on these parameters. Gut microbial analysis revealed that BlaG exerted stronger effects on the overall bacterial structure of the gut microbiota than BloJ, including enrichment of the genus Bifidobacterium. The levels of acetate and glucagon-like peptide-1 were increased by BlaG treatment in both the gut and plasma, but not by BloJ treatment. Correlation analysis suggested that the elevation of gut acetate levels by BlaG treatment plays a pivotal role in the BlaG-induced anti-MS effects. These findings indicated that BlaG, a highly viable and proliferative probiotic, improves metabolic disorders by modulating gut microbiota, which results in the elevation of SCFAs, especially acetate.
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