Energy‐dense foods can alter gut microbial diversity. However, the physiological effects of diet‐induced microbial changes on the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remain debatable. We hypothesized that high‐fat intake for 6 weeks would promote intestinal dysbiosis by increasing gram‐positive bacteria, inducing the intestinal production of proinflammatory cytokines and subsequent hepatic lipid infiltration in young male rats. Six‐week old male Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into two groups and fed either a standard rodent chow or a 60% high‐fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks. Chromogenic endotoxin quantification assays indicate an increase in lipopolysaccharide concentration in the plasma of HFD rats (p = 0.032). Additionally, Western blot analyses of the cecum showed significantly greater protein expression of the transcription factor, nuclear factor kappa B (NF‐kB), (p = 0.037) and the proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin‐1β (IL‐1β), (p = 0.042) in rats fed HFD.
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