Dietary Uncoupling of Gut Microbiota and Energy Harvesting from Obesity and Glucose Tolerance in Mice

Matthew J. Dalby, Alexander W. Ross, Alan W. Walker, Peter J. Morgan* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Evidence suggests that altered gut microbiota composition may be involved in the development of obesity. Studies using mice made obese with refined high-fat diets have supported this; however, these have commonly used chow as a control diet, introducing confounding factors from differences in dietary composition that have a key role in shaping microbiota composition. We compared the effects of feeding a refined high-fat diet with those of feeding either a refined low-fat diet or a chow diet on gut microbiota composition and host physiology. Feeding both refined low- or high-fat diets resulted in large alterations in the gut microbiota composition, intestinal fermentation, and gut morphology, compared to a chow diet. However, body weight, body fat, and glucose intolerance only increased in mice fed the refined high-fat diet. The choice of control diet can dissociate broad changes in microbiota composition from obesity, raising questions about the previously proposed relationship between gut microbiota and obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1533
Number of pages14
JournalCell Reports
Issue number6
Early online date7 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

The authors gratefully acknowledge Doctoral Training Partnership funding from the BBSRC (M.J.D.) and funding from the Scottish Government (P.J.M., A.W.R., and A.W.W.). We also thank the Centre for Genome-Enabled Biology and Medicine for help with next-generation sequencing and Karen Garden and the Rowett’s Analytical Services for SCFA analysis.

Supplemental Information includes four figures and two tables and can be
found with this article online at


  • energy harvest
  • microbiome
  • microbiota
  • obesity
  • SCFA
  • high-fat diet
  • chow
  • gut
  • glucose intolerance


Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary Uncoupling of Gut Microbiota and Energy Harvesting from Obesity and Glucose Tolerance in Mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this