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Research article2024Peer reviewed

Temporal gut microbiota variability and association with dietary patterns: From the one-year observational Diet, Cancer, and Health - Next Generations MAX study

Rostgaard-Hansen, Agnetha L.; Esberg, Anders; Dicksved, Johan; Hansen, Torben; Pelve, Erik; Brunius, Carl; Halkjaer, Jytte; Onneland, Anne Tj; Johansson, Ingegerd; Landberg, Rikard


Background: Knowledge about the variability of gut microbiota within an individual over time is important to allow meaningful investigations of the gut microbiota in relation to diet and health outcomes in observational studies. Plant-based dietary patterns have been associated with a lower risk of morbidity and mortality and may alter gut microbiota in a favorable direction. Objectives: To assess the gut microbiota variability during one year and investigate the association between adherence to diet indexes and the gut microbiota in a Danish population. Methods: Four hundred forty-four participants were included in the Diet, Cancer, and Health - Next Generations MAX study (DCH-NG MAX). Stool samples collected up to three times during a year were analyzed by 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene sequencing. Diet was obtained by 24-hour dietary recalls. Intraclass correlation coef fi cient (ICC) was calculated to assess temporal microbial variability based on 214 individuals. Diet indexes (Nordic, Mediterranean, and plant-based diets) and food groups thereof were associated with gut microbiota using linear regression analyses. Results: We found that 91 out of 234 genera had an ICC > 0.5. We identi fi ed three subgroups dominated by Bacteroides , Prevotella 9, and Ruminococcaceae and adherence to diet indexes differed between subgroups. Higher adherence to diet indexes was associated with the relative abundance of 22 genera. Across diet indexes, higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, whole grains/cereals, and nuts were most frequently associated with these genera. Conclusions: In the DCH-NG MAX study, 39% of the genera had an ICC > 0.5 over one year, suggesting that these genera could be studied with health outcomes in prospective analyses with acceptable precision. Adherence to the Nordic, Mediterranean, and plant-based diets differed between bacterial subgroups and was associated with a higher abundance of genera with fi ber-degrading properties. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains/cereals, and nuts were frequently associated with these genera.


human gut microbiota; temporal variability; dietary patterns; healthy Nordic food index; relative Mediterranean diet score; plant-based diet index; healthy plant-based diet index; unhealthy plant-based diet index; provegetarian diet index; epidemiology

Published in

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
2024, Volume: 119, number: 4, pages: 1015-1026

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Nutrition and Dietetics

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