Polyphenols as prebiotics in the management of high-fat diet-induced obesity: A systematic review of animal studies

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Obesity is a disease growing at an alarming rate and numerous preclinical studies have proven the role of polyphenols in managing this disease. This systematic review explores the prebiotic effect of polyphenols in the management of obesity among animals fed on a high-fat diet. A literature search was carried out in PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Embase databases following the PRISMA guidelines. Forty-four studies reported a significant reduction in obesity-related parameters. Most notably, 83% of the studies showed a decrease in either body weight/visceral adiposity/plasma triacylglyceride. Furthermore, 42 studies reported a significant improvement in gut microbiota (GM), significantly affecting the genera Akkermansia, Bacteroides, Blautia, Roseburia, Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, Alistipes, and Desulfovibrio. Polyphenols’ anti-obesity, anti-hyperglycaemic, and anti-inflammatory properties were associated with their ability to modulate GM. This review supports the notion of polyphenols as effective prebiotics in ameliorating HFD-induced metabolic derangements in animal models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number299
Number of pages34
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Anti-hyperglycaemic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Gut microbiota
  • Obesity
  • Polyphenols
  • Prebiotics

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