Elucidating the mechanisms of action of short-chain fatty acids: From dietary fiber to host metabolism

den Besten, G., 2014, [S.l.]: s.n.. 173 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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  • Title and contents

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  • Chapter 1

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  • Chapter 2

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  • Chapter 3

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  • Chapter 4

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  • Chapter 5

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  • Chapter 6

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  • Chapter 7

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  • Appendices

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  • Complete dissertation

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  • Propositions

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  • Gijs den Besten
Due to a change in eating habits, diseases like obesity and diabetes are growing rapidly in the Western society. Dietary fibers have been shown to protect and treat obesity and diabetes. Fibers are converted to short-chain fatty acids by bacteria located in the colon. In this thesis we studied the effects of short-chain fatty acids on obesity and diabetes and whether short-chain fatty acids are responsible for the beneficial effects of fibers. We found that the protection against obesity and diabetes by the dietary fiber guar gum strongly correlated with the uptake of short-chain fatty acids by mice. This implies that short-chain fatty acids exert their beneficial effects mostly after being taken up by mice, rather than directly in the colon. These effects are mainly exerted in the liver and adipose tissue, where short-chain fatty acids induce a switch from fatty-acid synthesis to fatty-acid burning. Together this leads to decreased fat storage in the body which may prevent the development of obesity and diabetes. Short-chain fatty acids do not only protect, but also reverse symptoms of obesity and diabetes in an already obese mouse. The dietary fiber guar gum protects against obesity and diabetes in the same manner as short-chain fatty acids, suggesting that short-chain fatty acids are indeed responsible for the protective action of guar gum. This thesis provides more insight into the mechanisms by which short-chain fatty acids prevent and reverse obesity and diabetes, and hints towards a usage of short-chain fatty acids as dietary supplements.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Reijngoud, Dirk, Supervisor
  • Bakker, Barbara, Supervisor
  • Schoonjans, Kristina, Assessment committee, External person
  • Hofker, Marten, Assessment committee
  • Willems van Dijk, J.A.P., Assessment committee, External person
Award date23-Jun-2014
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-6878-8
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-6877-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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