Dietary fiber supplementation increases Drosophila melanogaster lifespan and gut microbiota diversity

Daniela Beghell, Laura Giusti, Lorenzo Zallocco, Maurizio Ronci, Alessia Cappelli, Matthew G. Pontifex, Michael Muller, Claudia Damiani, Ilenia Cirilli, Silvana Hrelia, David Vauzour, Elena Vittadini, Guido Favia, Cristina Angeloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dietary fiber has been shown to have multiple health benefits, including a positive effect on longevity and the gut microbiota. In the present study, Drosophila melanogaster has been chosen as an in vivo model organism to study the health effects of dietary fiber supplementation (DFS). DFS extended the mean half-life of male and female flies, but the absolute lifespan only increased in females. To reveal the underlying mechanisms, we examined the effect of DFS on gut microbiota diversity and abundance, local gut immunity, and the brain proteome. A significant difference in the gut microbial community was observed between groups with and without fiber supplementation, which reduced the gut pathogenic bacterial load. We also observed an upregulated expression of dual oxidase and a modulated expression of Attacin and Diptericin genes in the gut of older flies, possibly delaying the gut dysbiosis connected to the age-related gut immune dysfunction. Brain proteome analysis showed that DFS led to the modulation of metabolic processes connected to mitochondrial biogenesis, the RhoV-GTPase cycle, organelle biogenesis and maintenance, membrane trafficking and vesicle-mediated transport, possibly orchestrated through a gut-brain axis interaction. Taken together, our study shows that DFS can prolong the half-life and lifespan of flies, possibly by promoting a healthier gut environment and delaying the physiological dysbiosis that characterizes the ageing process. However, the RhoV-GTPase cycle at the brain level may deserve more attention in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7468-7477
Number of pages10
JournalFood & Function
Issue number14
Early online date12 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2024

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