The study looked at activated soy pod fiber as a dietary intervention in mice fed an obesogenic diet. Two groups of male C57BL/6NTac mice were fed a purified diet similar to the "condensed milk" diet, with one group's diet altered to contain 15% activated soy pod fiber (ASPF). Compared to mice eating the unmodified diet, mice fed the diet with activated soy pod fiber gained weight more slowly due to reduced dietary fat uptake.
The decreased weight gain is attributable to decreased absorption of calories and increased fecal energy content, which is possibly linked to decreased bile acid secretion.
Microbiota populations across ten genera were also affected in mice on the ASPF-modified diet, coupled with the increased presence of fermentation byproducts in fecal samples. Five genera in particular - Flavonifractor, Barnesiella, Bacteroides, Oscillibactor, and Alistipes - were significantly increased by the altered diet.
The researchers' call for continued investigation on the effect of ASPF on fat gain and microbiota is part of a wider race to translate microbiome research into therapies. There are 279 open studies on ClinicalTrials.gov and increasing interest from major pharma companies.