A high sugar diet acutely promotes the predisposition to colitis in mice

Researchers at the University of Alberta discovered that a high sugar diet promotes chemically induced colitis with more severe symptoms in mice after only two days compared to those with a balanced diet. Previous studies have shown that one’s diet determines the susceptibility of disease. With that in mind, the research team wanted to see just how quickly would an onset change in the diet affects health. The study involved two groups of mice: a group fed with chow and a group that was fed with high sugar diet (50% sucrose) over a two day period. After two days of different treatments, the mice were introduced to a low concentration of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) to induce colitis.  After 10 days, cecum samples were collected and underwent 16s rRNA sequencing method and placed to run on Illumina’s MiSeq platform. The results showed microbiota dysbiosis in high sugar diet samples. The chow cohort was able to recover after the induced colitis whereas the high sugar diet group could not. The gut of the high sugar diet mice was also depleted of short chain fatty acids which aid in nutrient absorption, lipid metabolism, mucin production, expression of antimicrobial peptides and play an important role in gut repair and restoration. This discovery reiterates the importance of diet’s effects on health as well as promoting a type of diet that would cause gut microbiota to flourish promoting optimal health.