Studies in mice using germfree animals as controls for microbial colonization have shown that the gut microbiome mediates diet-induced obesity. Such studies use diets rich in saturated fat, however, Western diets in the United States America are enriched in soybean oil, composed of unsaturated fatty acids, either linoleic or oleic acid. Here, we addressed whether the microbiome is a variable in fat metabolism in mice on a soybean oil diet. We used conventionally-raised, low-germ, and germfree mice fed for 10 weeks diets either high or low in high-linoleic-acid soybean oil as the sole source of fat. Conventional and germfree mice gained relative fat weight and all mice consumed more calories on the high fat vs. Low fat soybean oil diet. Plasma fatty acid levels were generally dependent on diet, with microbial colonization status affecting iso-C18:0, C20:3n-6, C14:0, and C15:0 levels. Colonization status, but not diet, impacted levels of liver...

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