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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 May;60(5):1150-60. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201500738. Epub 2016 Mar 22.

Lingonberries reduce atherosclerosis in Apoe(-/-) mice in association with altered gut microbiota composition and improved lipid profile.

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Food for Health Science Centre, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.



To investigate the efficacy of lingonberries in prevention of atherosclerosis, using atherosclerosis-prone Apoe(-/-) mice and to clarify whether effects were associated with changes in the gut microbiota, gut metabolites, and lipid metabolism.


Male Apoe(-/-) mice were fed either low-fat diet, high-fat diet, or high-fat diet with 44% lingonberries for 8 weeks. Blood lipid profiles, hepatic gene expression, atherosclerotic plaques in the aortic root region of the heart, bacterial 16S rRNA gene profiles, and cecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were analyzed. Triglyceride levels and amount of atherosclerotic plaques decreased in the group fed lingonberries in comparison to the high-fat group. Hepatic expression of the bile acid synthesis gene Cyp7a1 was significantly upregulated in the lingonberry group. Lingonberries increased the cecal relative abundance of bacterial genera Bacteroides, Parabacteroides and Clostridium. The cecal levels of total SCFAs were significantly lower in the lingonberry group, while the cecal proportion of propionic acid was higher in mice fed lingonberries.


Intake of lingonberries resulted in decreased triglyceridemia and reduced atherosclerosis. The altered gut microbiota composition and SCFA profile was associated with increased hepatic bile acid gene expression in mice fed lingonberries.


Atherosclerosis; Gut microbiota; Lingonberries; Short-chain fatty acids

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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