DuPont Nutrition & Health (DuPont) released the findings of a research study showing that DuPont™ Danisco® Litesse® Ultra™ polydextrose alters the gut microbiome and reduces fasting triglyceride and total cholesterol plasma levels in mice being fed a Western diet1. The study is a continuation of the leading microbiome research work DuPont Nutrition & Health is doing in conjunction with the University of Oulu Medical School in Finland.

For close to two decades, DuPont scientists have been at the forefront of researching the gut microbiome and developing products that can boost its health. More than 80 percent of the human body’s immune system can be found in the gut along with effects on skin, metabolic and even brain health.

Litesse® polydextrose is a low calorie, low glycemic, specialty carbohydrate with prebiotic properties that is widely recognized as a fiber. The intake of increased dietary fiber and unsaturated fats are among the options frequently recommended to address cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and dyslipidemia or the elevation of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream.

The research showed that mice fed Litesse® polydextrose experienced favorable metabolic changes, including decreases in plasma triglycerides and cholesterol, and specific changes in the gut microbiota and gene expression in the gastrointestinal tract. In the study, Litesse® polydextrose was shown to increase microbial groups associated with the lean phenotype and improved lipid metabolism. The mice that were fed Litesse® polydextrose had increased Bifidobacterium and Allobaculum genera, which are, according to literature, typically decreased in mice fed a high-fat diet.

"This study exemplifies DuPont’s commitment to in-depth and long-term science behind our products," said Heli Putaala, PhD, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Global Health and Nutrition Science. "This study with Litesse® polydextrose is an example of the type of research we have been performing in our Research Center in Finland for almost 20 years, using our own technologies and expertise in the areas of gut modelling, preclinical and clinical trials. We are now starting to better understand how our product functions by modulating gut microbiota. This regulates microbial metabolites that ultimately have systemic, whole body effects."

Among the study’s other key findings was the discovery that Litesse® polydextrose decreased food intake, epididymal fat, plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol in the mice. Furthermore, results showed that Litesse® polydextrose changed intestinal gene expression which may partly explain the favorable metabolic responses.

Professor Karl-Heinz Herzig and his PhD student, Ghulam Raza, were the lead investigators in the study.

"While this study was conducted on mice, some human results are in line with what we discovered, although in humans the mechanisms are not yet as clear," said Herzig. "These results are very encouraging and should be followed up in human trials."

You can read more about this research study at

1 The "Western diet" is a generally accepted term to describe a high-fat diet used typically in the diet-induced obesity animal models. The obesity model closely mimics the increasing availability of the high-fat/high-density foods in modern society, which are main contributors to the obesity trend in humans. Normally, mice and rats have quite "healthy", high fiber and low-fat diets; however, by substituting the Western pattern diet in mice, we can study the development of obesity and those potential ingredients that prevent the risks linked to obesity.