Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

The Effects of High Fiber Rye, Compared to Refined Wheat, on Gut Microbiota Composition, Plasma Short Chain Fatty Acids, and Implications for Weight Loss and Metabolic Risk Factors (the RyeWeight Study)

Iversen, Kia Nohr; Dicksved, Johan; Zoki, Camille; Fristedt, Rikard; Pelve, Erik A.; Langton, Maud; Landberg, Rikard


Consumption of whole grain and cereal fiber have been inversely associated with body weight and obesity measures in observational studies but data from large, long-term randomized interventions are scarce. Among the cereals, rye has the highest fiber content and high rye consumption has been linked to increased production of gut fermentation products, as well as reduced risks of obesity and metabolic disease. The effects on body weight and metabolic risk factors may partly be mediated through gut microbiota and/or their fermentation products. We used data from a randomized controlled weight loss trial where participants were randomized to a hypocaloric diet rich in either high fiber rye foods or refined wheat foods for 12 weeks to investigate the effects of the intervention on gut microbiota composition and plasma short chain fatty acids, as well as the potential association with weight loss and metabolic risk markers. Rye, compared to wheat, induced some changes in gut microbiota composition, including increased abundance of the butyrate producing Agathobacter and reduced abundance of [Ruminococcus] torques group, which may be related to reductions in low grade inflammation caused by the intervention. Plasma butyrate increased in the rye group. In conclusion, intervention with high fiber rye foods induced some changes in gut microbiota composition and plasma short chain fatty acid concentration, which were associated with improvements in metabolic risk markers as a result of the intervention.


rye; wheat; cereal fiber; whole grain; weight loss; inflammation; metabolic risk markers; gut microbiota; short chain fatty acids

Published in

2022, Volume: 14, number: 8, article number: 1669
Publisher: MDPI