Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is affecting people worldwide. Changes in the intestinal microbiome are crucial to NASH. A previous study showed that eradicating intestinal fungi ameliorates NASH; however, the role of intestinal fungi in the development of NASH remains unclear. Saccharomyces boulardii (SB), a dietary supplement yeast, has been reported to restore the integrity of the intestine. Here, we tested the effect of SB in the treatment of NASH. For this study, we fed eight-week-old C57/BL6 male mice either a methionine-choline deficient (MCD) diet or a normal chow diet (NCD) for eight weeks. Half of the MCD diet-fed mice were gavaged with SB (5 mg/day) once daily. The remainder of the NCD–fed mice were gavaged with normal saline as a control. The MCD diet-fed mice on SB supplement showed better liver function, less hepatic steatosis, and decreased inflammation. Both hepatic inflammatory gene expression and fibrogenic gene expression were suppressed in mice with SB gavage. Intestinal damage caused by the MCD diet was tampered with, intestine inflammation decreased, and gut permeability improved in mice that had been given the SB supplement. Deep sequencing of the fecal microbiome showed a potentially increased beneficial gut microbiota and increased microbiota diversity in the SB-supplemented mice. The SB supplement maintains gut integrity, increases microbial diversity, and increases the number of potentially beneficial gut microbiota. Thus, the SB supplement attenuates gut leakage and exerts a protective effect against NASH. Our results provide new insight into the prevention of NASH.
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