Abstract: Grape-seed extract (GSE) is rich in proanthocyanidins (polymers of flavan-3-ols). GSE is well known to have various beneficial effects to health. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of dietary GSE on the intestinal microbiota in ovariectomized (OVX) mice as a model of menopause. Phylum-level analyses using 16S rRNA-targeted group-specific polymerase-chain reaction primers in fecal samples collected 8 weeks postoperatively from OVX mice revealed that the proportion of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes populations became imbalanced as compared with that in sham-operated control mice. That is, the ratio of Firmicutes:Bacteroidetes populations in the OVX group were increased significantly. When OVX animals were given dietary GSE, the imbalanced proportion of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes populations was normalized to that seen in control mice. In addition, the body weight of OVX animals measured at 6 weeks postoperatively was significantly higher than that in sham-operated control animals. Dietary GSE also prevented OVX animals from increasing body weight. Thus, we postulated that GSE can improve imbalanced populations of intestinal microbiota, leading to prevention of obesity under conditions of not only menopause but morbidity. Practical Application: The GSE has a great potential to be a functional food to improve dysbiosis in post-menopausal women.
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