Dietary non-fermentable fiber prevents autoimmune neurological disease by changing gut metabolic and immune status.
The autoimmune neurological disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), have increased at alarming rates in the Western society over the last few decades. While there are numerous efforts to develop novel treatment approaches, there is an unmet need to identify preventive strategies. We explored whether central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity can be prevented through dietary manipulation using a spontaneous autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse model. We report that the nutritional supplementation of non-fermentable fiber, common components of a vegetarian diet, in early adult life, prevents autoimmune disease. Dietary non-fermentable fiber alters the composition of the gut microbiota and metabolic profile with an increase in the abundance of long-chain fatty acids. Immune assays revealed that cecal extracts and a long chain fatty acid but not cecal lysates promoted autoimmune suppressive TH2 immune responses, demonstrating that non-fermentable fiber-induced metabolic changes account for the beneficial effects. Overall, these findings identify a non-invasive dietary strategy to prevent CNS autoimmunity and warrants a focus on nutritional approaches in human MS.