Monobutyrin Reduces Liver Cholesterol and Improves Intestinal Barrier Function in Rats Fed High-Fat Diets

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Butyric acid has been shown to reduce high-fat diet-related metabolic disturbances and to improve intestinal barrier function due to its potent anti-inflammatory capacity. This study investigates whether a butyric acid ester, monobutyrin (MB) affects lipid profiles and gut barrier function in a dose-response manner in rats fed butter- or lard-based high-fat diets. Four-week-old male Wistar rats were fed butter-based diets containing 0, 0.25, 0.75 and 1.5 MB g/100 g (dry weight basis) or 0.5 glycerol g/100 g, and diets with lard (La) containing 0 and 0.5 MB g/100 g or a low-fat control diet for 3⁻4 weeks. Lipid profiles in blood and liver tissue, intestinal permeability and cecal short-chain fatty acids were examined. The results showed a dose-dependent decrease in liver total cholesterol for 1.5 MB (p < 0.05) and liver triglycerides for 0.75 MB (p < 0.05) and 1.5 MB (p = 0.08) groups compared to the high-fat control group. Furthermore, a lower excretion of mannitol in urine in the 1.5 MB group indicated improved intestinal barrier function. When MB was supplemented in the lard-based diet, serum total cholesterol levels decreased, and total amount of liver high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol increased. Thus, MB dietary supplementation can be effective in counteracting lipid metabolism disturbances and impaired gut barrier function induced by high-fat diets.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • butter, butyrate, cecal SCFA, intestinal permeability, lactulose/mannitol test, lard, lipid metabolism, Wistar rat
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1
Publication categoryResearch