The diet-gut axis and its impact cardiometabolic health: Study

By Danielle Masterson contact

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images

Related tags: microbiome, cardiovascular health, Metabolic syndrome, Obesity

Obesity and cardiometabolic diseases are often related to diet, which in turn plays a major role in shaping the human gut microbiota.

Recent research suggests the global rise in cardiometabolic disorders is linked to obesity. In addition to obesity, other cardiometabolic risk factors include: high cholesterol, high blood fat, low cholesterol, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.

To gain a better understanding of how diet may modulate the gut microbiota, researchers in China conducted research which explored how a high-fat diet might impact cardiometabolic health. The 6-month randomized controlled-feeding study was published in the journal Gut Microbes​.  

Study details 

In this trial, the researchers designed three diets that had the same amount of calories but different dietary fat to carbohydrate ratios: a low-fat diet (fat 20% and carbohydrates 66% energy), a moderate-fat diet (fat 30% and carbohydrates 56% energy), and a high-fat diet (fat 40% and carbohydrates 46% energy).

To avoid inaccurate calculation of the dietary intakes and minimize confusion, dietary instructions were not provided. Instead, the researchers used controlled-feeding design and provided the participants in all three dietary groups with all foods and beverages throughout the 6-month intervention

To assess if gut microbiota was affected by the dietary intervention and influenced metabolism, the research team further measured the gut microbiota composition and fecal metabolomics profile. 


The research found that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet appeared to be associated with a higher cardiometabolic risk profile when compared to the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. 

“Our trial has shown the unfavorable effects of highfat (mainly, high n-6 PUFAs), low-carbohydrate diet on gut microbiota, fecal metabolomic profiles, and plasma proinflammatory factors.” 

“Overall, the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet was associated with unfavorable effects on gut microbiota and microbial metabolites. The relative abundances of Bacteroidetes phylum and Bacteroides and Alistipes genera were increased, while Firmicutes phylum and Faecalibacterium genus were decreased after highfat, low-carbohydrate diet intervention."

Meanwhile, the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet increased fecal concentrations of palmitic acid, stearic acid, and arachidonic acid, but decreased butyric acid concentration.

Additionally, the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet was associated with increased levels of plasma proinflammatory factors such as high sensitivity C-reactive protein and thromboxane B2, relative to the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.

The future of personalized nutrition 

The researchers said that by further studying the impact of gene-diet interaction on gut microbiota, they hope to be able to better predict the response of microbiome features to the diet and promote personalized nutrition to improve human health.

Indeed, many physicians believe that nutrition tailored toward each individual’s gut microbiome may be the key to managing weight and health.

A recent survey by Sermo found that 53% of physicians believe highly personalized nutrition based on an individual’s genetics, metabolism or microbiome will be available within the next 5-10 years.

“Overall, Sermo physicians have high hopes for the future of personalized nutrition when looking to the next decade in the United States, following suit with the trend towards personalized health care. This shift is especially important, as 69% of physicians predict that more than half of the US will be obese by 2030. To help combat this epidemic, the majority of physicians do believe we are close to being able to offer personalized nutrition.”

Influencers, the microbiome, protein, formulation challenges and opportunities, and female athletic consumers are just some of the topics that will take center stage at the NutraIngredients-USA Sports Nutrition Summit​ in San Diego, Feb 3-5, 2020. 

For more information and to register, please click HERE​.

Source: Gut Microbes

21 Jan 2020

“Contribution of diet to gut microbiota and related host cardiometabolic health: diet-gut interaction in human health”

Authors: Y. Wan et al

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