Soy protein intake is known to cause microbiota changes. While there are some reports about the effect of soy protein intake on gut microbiota and lipid metabolism, effective timing of soy protein intake has not been investigated. In this study, we examined the effect of soy protein intake timing on microbiota. Mice were fed twice a day, in the morning and evening, to compare the effect of soy protein intake in the morning with that in the evening. Mice were divided into three groups: mice fed only casein protein, mice fed soy protein in the morning, and mice fed soy protein in the evening under high-fat diet conditions. They were kept under the experimental condition for two weeks and were sacrificed afterward. We measured cecal pH and collected cecal contents and feces. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) from cecal contents were measured by gas chromatography. The microbiota was analyzed by sequencing 16S rRNA genes from feces. Soy protein intake whether in the morning or evening led to a greater microbiota diversity and a decrease in cecal pH resulting from SCFA production compared to casein intake. In addition, these effects were relatively stronger by morning soy protein intake. Therefore, soy protein intake in the morning may have relatively stronger effects on microbiota than that in the evening.
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