On the effect of flavonoids and dietary fibre in lingonberries on atherosclerotic plaques, lipid profiles and gut microbiota composition in Apoe–/– mice
It has not been clarified whether the anti-atherosclerotic effect of lingonberry can be ascribed to its content of flavonoids or dietary fibre or both. The aim of this study was to evaluate the metabolic effects of whole lingonberries compared with isolated flavonoid and fibre fractions on atherosclerotic plaques, plasma lipid profiles, gut microbiota and microbiota-dependent metabolites in an Apoe–/– mouse model. Mice fed whole lingonberries showed the lowest amount of atherosclerotic plaques, while mice fed the fibre fraction had the highest formation of caecal butyric acid. Flavonoids, rather than dietary fibre, were suggested to be the components that favour proliferation of Akkermansia, as judged by the lowest abundance of this bacterium in mice fed the fibre fraction. All groups fed lingonberry diets had both, lower Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratios and creatinine concentrations, compared with the control. To conclude, different components in lingonberries are associated with different physiological effects in Apoe–/– mice.