Dietary fiber intake and fecal short chain fatty acid concentrations are associated with lower plasma lipopolysaccharide-binding protein and inflammation

Melisa A. Bailey, Sharon V. Thompson, Annemarie R. Mysonhimer, Jessica N. Bennett, James J. Vanhie, Michael De Lisio, Nicholas A. Burd, Naiman A. Khan, Hannah D. Holscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consuming adequate dietary fiber is a promising strategy for reducing systemic inflammation. The objective was to evaluate relationships between dietary fiber intake, markers of metabolic endotoxemia, and systemic inflammation in adults. This was a cross-sectional study of 129 healthy participants (age 33.6 ± 6.1 yr, BMI 30.5 ± 6.9 kg/m2). Dietary fiber intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire. Adiposity was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Fecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were quantified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Fecal microbiota sequence data (V4 region, 16S rRNA gene) were analyzed using DADA2 and QIIME2. Inflammatory cytokines were assessed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays; flow cytometry was conducted for monocyte surface marker quantification. Bivariate correlations and generalized step-wise linear modeling were used for statistical analyses. Plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations were positively related to whole body (CRP r = 0.45, P = <0.0001; IL-6 r = 0.34, P = 0.0002) and visceral adiposity (CRP r = 0.33, P = 0.0003; IL-6 r = 0.38, P = 0.0002). Plasma lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) concentrations were inversely related to dietary fiber intake (r = -0.22, P = 0.03) and fecal SCFA (acetate r = -0.25, P = 0.01; propionate r = -0.28, P = 0.003; butyrate r = -0.23, P = 0.02). Whole body adiposity, dietary fiber, and fecal SCFA were the most predictive of plasma LBS-BP concentrations. Novel findings included associations between dietary fiber intake, the gastrointestinal microbiota, and systemic inflammation.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Dietary fiber intake may reduce the inflammation associated with obesity and metabolic disease. Our cross-sectional analysis revealed that dietary fiber intake and fecal short-chain fatty acids are inversely associated with lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, a marker of systemic inflammation. In addition, plasma interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein were positively related to markers of adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G369-G377
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5
Early online dateFeb 15 2023
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • metabolic endotoxemia
  • obseity
  • inflammation
  • dietary fiber
  • microbiome
  • microbiota
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Hepatology


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