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Animal models of chronic disease are continuously being refined and have evolved with the goal of increasing the translation of results to human populations. Examples of this progress include transgenic models and germ-free animals conventionalized with human microbiota. The gut microbiome is involved in the etiology of several chronic diseases. Therefore, consideration of the experimental conditions that may affect the gut microbiome in preclinical disease is very important. Of note, diet plays a large role in shaping the gut microbiome and can be a source of variation between animal models and human populations. Traditionally, nutrition researchers have focused on manipulating the macronutrient profile of experimental diets to model diseases such as metabolic syndrome. However, other dietary components found in human foods, but not in animal diets, can have sizable effects on the composition and metabolic capacity of the gut microbiome and, as a consequence, manifestation of the chronic disease being modeled. The purpose of this review is to describe how food matrix food components, including diverse fiber sources, oxidation products from cooking, and dietary fat emulsifiers, shape the composition of the gut microbiome and influence gut health.
Ward, R. E., Benninghoff, A. D., & Hintze, K. J. 2020 Food matrix and the microbiome: considerations for preclinical chronic disease studies. Nutrition Research. 78. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2020.02.012