Obesity is a global epidemic whose hallmarks include systemic and adipose tissue chronic low-grade inflammation, which is driven in part through a dysfunctional intestinal microenvironment. One key strategy to modulate the obese phenotype is the consumption of specific dietary components (e.g. non-digestible carbohydrates (fiber) and phenolics) that are enriched in foods such as common beans. Further, difference between bean varieties, such as seed-coat color, results in dramatic difference in the levels and profiles of phenolic compounds, therefore health effects induced by common beans may be dependent on the common bean variety consumed. This study will determine the effect of bean consumption on aspects of the obese phenotype. Male C57BL/6 mice will consume a high fat diet (HFD) (60% fat as kcal) or an isocaloric HFD supplemented with 15% cooked white beans (HF+WK) or 15% cooked dark-red beans (HF+DK) for 12 weeks. Cooked beans nutritional composition and phenolic compound content, profiles, and antioxidant potential will be determined. Fecal microbial metabolites (phenolics and short chain fatty acid concentrations) will be aseessed, as well as microbial community structure. Colonic, adipose tissue and serum inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines will be measured as well as biomarkers of metabolic function. One-way ANOVA with Fisher's least significant difference posthoc will be used to distinguish differences between group means. The threshold for statistical significance will be p< 0.05.
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