Worse inflammatory profile in omnivores than in vegetarians associates with the gut microbiota composition.
Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2017 ;9:62. Epub 2017 Aug 15. PMID: 28814977
Ana Carolina Franco-de-Moraes
AIMS: To describe the abundance of major phyla and some genera in the gut microbiota of individuals according to dietary habits and examine their associations with inflammatory markers, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular risk profile.
METHODS: A total of 268 non-diabetic individuals were stratified into groups of dietary types (strict vegetarians, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and omnivores). The taxonomic composition and phylogenetic structure of the microbiota were obtained through the analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. Samples were clustered into operational taxonomic units at 97% similarity using GreenGenes 13.5 database. Clinical, biochemical, and circulating inflammatory markers were compared by ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis test.
RESULTS: The sample (54.2% women, mean age 49.5 years) was composed of 66 strict vegetarians, 102 lacto-ovo-vegetarians and 100 omnivores. Considering the entire sample, the greatest abundant phyla were Firmicutes (40.7 ± 15.9%) and Bacteroidetes (39.5 ± 19.9%), and no difference in abundances was found between individuals with normal andexcess weight. Stratifying by dietary types, the proportion of Firmicutes was lower and of Bacteroidetes was higher in strict vegetarians when compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarians and omnivores. At the genus level, strict vegetarians had a higher Prevotella abundance and Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio than the other groups. They also had a lower proportion of Faecalibacterium than lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and both vegetarian groups had higher proportions than did omnivores. Succinivibrio and Halomonas from the Proteobacteria phylum were overrepresented in omnivores. The omnivorous group showed higher values of anthropometric data, insulin, HOMA-IR, and a worse lipid profile. Inflammatory markers exhibited a gradual and significant increase from the vegetarians and lacto-ovo-vegetarians to the omnivorous group.
CONCLUSIONS: There are differences in gut microbiota composition of individuals with distinct dietary habits, who differ according to their inflammatory and metabolic profiles. Based on the findings relative to bacteria abundances and on their recognized actions in the metabolism, we suggest that exposure to animal foods may favor an intestinal environment which could trigger systemic inflammation and insulin resistance-dependent metabolic disorders.