Fructose Rich Diet May Have Implications for the Mouse Model of MS

19 April 2023by Barış Özdinç

Did you know that a fructose-rich diet may have implications for the Mouse Model of MS?

A new study published in the journal ImmunoHorizons has found that a fructose-rich diet can alter the gut microbiota and activate the immune system. 


There is increasing evidence that a Western-style diet rich in simple sugars may be leading to an increased risk of autoimmune disease. The impact of high-fat components of a Western-style diet on multiple sclerosis (MS)  has been extensively studied, but the relationship between MS and simple sugars such as fructose remains understudied.


The study sheds light on the complex interplay between dietary fructose, gut microbiota, and immune function, and suggests that dietary interventions could be an effective approach to prevent and treat MS.


Read on to find out more about the study, its results, and how the CosmosID-HUB enabled this research.


MS is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, leading to inflammation, demyelination, and neuronal damage. While the exact causes of MS are still unknown, several factors have been implicated in its development, including genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices such as diet.


Fructose is a type of sugar commonly found in processed foods and beverages such as soda, candy, and baked goods. Previous research has shown that a high intake of fructose can have negative effects on health, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 


However, the effects of a fructose-rich diet on gut microbiota and immune function, and its potential implications for MS, have not been extensively studied.


To investigate this, the research team of Dr. Peterson from the University of Iowa fed two cohorts of mice a normal diet and a normal diet supplemented with 30% fructose water through a 12 weeks period. Then, they compared gut microbiota and immune functions of standard diet and fructose-enriched diet-fed mice. 


To compare the fecal microbiomes, researchers collected fecal samples from the two cohorts of mice, extracted DNA and sent extracted metagenomic samples to CosmosID (Germantown, MD). 


The results showed that the fructose-rich diet altered the composition of the gut microbiota, with an increase in the abundance of Bacteroides vulgatus, Desulfovibrio vulgaris, and Collinsella aerofaciens, and a reduction in Prevotella


The fructose-rich diet also resulted in the activation of immune cells known as T cells, which play a key role in autoimmune diseases such as MS. Altogether, these results may be linked to the pro-inflammatory nature of MS.  


These findings suggest that a fructose-rich diet may contribute to the development and progression of MS by altering the gut microbiota and activating the immune system. However, only subtle changes were observed in the MS model of mice after the fructose-rich diet intervention. 


In conclusion, while more research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the mechanisms by which fructose affects the gut microbiota and immune system, this study provides important insights into the complex interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and immune function, and its potential implications for MS. 


The study underscores the need for a holistic approach to MS prevention and treatment that takes into account the role of diet and lifestyle factors, in addition to conventional therapies. 


Please see the original paper to learn more.

How did CosmosID support this research?

The CosmosID-HUB platform enabled this study by providing the researchers with access to advanced metagenomics analysis tools, such as sequence annotation and data visualization. 


This allowed them to quickly and accurately compare the fecal microbiomes of mice fed a normal diet and one supplemented with fructose.


With the state-of-the-art tools in the CosmosID-HUB and our leading microbiome sequencing services, the researchers were able to identify and quantify microbial species present in each sample, as well as uncover potential associations between gut microbiota composition and immune function. 


The ability to perform comprehensive metagenomics analysis with the tools available in the CosmosID platform allowed the team to accurately assess how fructose affects gut microbiota and immune function, and its potential implications for MS. 


If you’d like to learn more about the CosmosID-HUB platform and how it can help you with your research, please get in touch today.

Unlock the power of the microbiome. Get started with the CosmosID-HUB now.


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Barış Özdinç

Barış Özdinç analyzes microbiome research with his educational background in genetics and evolution. As a research analyst for CosmosID, he combines metagenomics and data analyses to identify microbial biomarkers in disease cohorts and evaluate microbiome research tools. His work involves curating microbiome data and creating interesting microbiome content for newsletters and blog posts. Barış Özdinç received his bachelor’s degree in genetics and master’s degree in biodiversity, evolution, and conservation from University College London (UCL). Currently, he lives in Istanbul, Turkey, where he lives with his cat, Delight, and mentors female students in their STEM career pursuits.