Programming of adult metabolic health: the roles of dietary cholesterol and microbiota in early life

Mirjam Agnes Maria Lohuis


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    The obesity prevalence has increased in adults and kids. This is worrying because early life obesity is associated with metabolic diseases in early and adult life. Recent data indicated that changes in the early nutritional and microbial environment impact the development of chronic disease (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease) at adult age.
    The research in this thesis provides valuable insights into how early life factors such as cholesterol supply via the breast milk or diet and microbiota presence during defined time-frames in early life of mice contribute to physiology and metabolism later in life.
    Cholesterol is an important building block for our cell membranes, hormones and bile acids (BA). Our research shows that breast milk cholesterol levels are stable despite up to 5-fold increases in maternal blood cholesterol levels due to high cholesterol diet. This suggests a possible important role for a stable cholesterol supply to the offspring during lactation. Indeed, our research shows that the lactation period, but not the post-lactation period seems a critical time-frame for long-term cholesterol metabolism.
    Intestinal microbiota composition has an impact on the interaction between host and environment at all stages of our lives. Surprisingly, our data imply that microbiota (absence) in early life does not critically affect adult metabolism. Also, fecal transplantation in germ-free mice with a donor of the same or opposing sex did not affect bile acid composition on the long term. However, qualitative differences in microbiota composition in humans and mice may influence metabolism and the risk to develop chronic diseases.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Verkade, Henkjan, Supervisor
    • Tietge, Uwe, Supervisor
    Datum van toekenning10-jul.-2019
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    Gedrukte ISBN's9789403417790
    Elektronische ISBN's9789403417783
    StatusPublished - 2019


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