Investigating Ramadan Like Fasting Effects on the Gut Microbiome in BALB/c Mice

Junhong Su, Fanglin Li, Yueying Wang, Yuxin Su, Auke Verhaar, Zhongren Ma*, Maikel P Peppelenbosch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Recently we reported that in healthy volunteer Ramadan-associated intermittent fasting (RAIF) remodels the gut microbiome and resulted in an increase in small chain fatty acid producing bacteria concomitant with improved metabolic parameters. As interpretation of these results is hampered by the possible psychological effects associated with the study, we now aim to investigate RAIF in experimental animals. To this end, 6-week male BALB/c mice were subjected to RAIF (30 days of a 16-h daily fasting; n = 8) or provided with feed ad libitum (n = 6). Fecal samples were collected before and the end of fasting and bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing was performed. We found that RAIF remodeled the composition of gut microbiota in BALB/c mice (p < 0.01) and especially provoked upregulation of butyrate acid-producing Lachnospireceae and Ruminococcaceae (p < 0.01), resembling the effects seen in human volunteers. Hence we conclude that the effects of RAIF on gut microbiome relate to the timing of food intake and are not likely related to psychological factors possibly at play during Ramadan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number832757
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the support from the Talent Training Project for Kunming University of Science and Technology (KKSY201560004).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Su, Li, Wang, Su, Verhaar, Ma and Peppelenbosch.


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