Background: Calorie restriction (CR) has been widely recognized for its effect in reducing body weight and alleviating diabetes in humans, as well as prolonging life span in animal studies. Gut microbiome shifts contribute to part of the effects of CR, but little is known regarding their influences except on metabolism and immunity.
Methods: We combined the human population-based (metagenomic, metatranscriptomics shotgun sequencing data) and mice-based approaches to revealed microbial determinants that could contribute to successful weight loss.
Results: Microbiome changes are linked to changes in blood metabolome and hormones, which eventually correlate to brain functional changes as studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Brain functional shifts indicate response of central neural system (CNS) to CR, and microbiome constitutes the
keystone of gut-brain axis. Animal experiment further reaffirms the gut microbiome changes, metabolic and hormonal shifts of CR, while proteomic analysis of brain tissues suggest that epigenetic modifications of key proteins could explain responses of CNS to CR.
Conclusion: Our study establishes linkage between CR, gut microbiome, metabolome/ hormones and CNS function, and demonstrates that CR has multi-facet, coordinated effects on the host, of which many could contribute to weight loss and other beneficial effects.