Cross-Omics Analysis of Fenugreek Supplementation Reveals Beneficial Effects Are Caused by Gut Microbiome Changes Not Mammalian Host Physiology

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Herbal remedies are increasing in popularity as treatments for metabolic conditions such as obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. One potential therapeutic option is fenugreek seeds (), which have been used for treating high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes. A proposed mechanism for these benefits is through alterations in the microbiome, which impact mammalian host metabolic function. This study used untargeted metabolomics to investigate the fenugreek-induced alterations in the intestinal, liver, and serum profiles of mice fed either a 60% high-fat or low-fat control diet each with or without fenugreek supplementation (2% /) for 14 weeks. Metagenomic analyses of intestinal contents found significant alterations in the relative composition of the gut microbiome resulting from fenugreek supplementation. Specifically, Verrucomicrobia, a phylum containing beneficial bacteria which are correlated with health benefits, increased in relative abundance with fenugreek. Metabolomics partial least squares discriminant analysis revealed substantial fenugreek-induced changes in the large intestines. However, it was observed that while the magnitude of changes was less, significant modifications were present in the liver tissues resulting from fenugreek supplementation. Further analyses revealed metabolic processes affected by fenugreek and showed broad ranging impacts in multiple pathways, including carnitine biosynthesis, cholesterol and bile acid metabolism, and arginine biosynthesis. These pathways may play important roles in the beneficial effects of fenugreek.

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International journal of molecular sciences

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