Can diet influence gut microbiota?

diet affects gut microbiota

Recent research finds that diet can alter microbiota and may play a role in obesity.

Diet plays an essential part in not only maintaining all the systems of the body but also in the proper functioning of the gut microbiota. Our diet affects trillions of bacteria living in our gut, which in turn affects the physiology of our body. Research is increasingly finding a significant link between gut microbiota and health.

In a recent study, published in PLOS ONE, researchers found that diet can induce changes in gut microbiota. The researchers used mouse reference populations to study the levels of fat in the diet that could impact bacterial diversity in the gut. They used genomics data, statistical analysis along with sequencing of bacterial populations in cecum and analyzing mouse population that were subjected to low fat (13-18% fat) and high-fat diet (45-60% fat). The researchers found that high-fat diet induced weight gain in mouse population compared to a low-fat diet. Also, high fat diet triggered changes in bacterial community, causing a considerable decrease in bacterial diversity with major part represented by Firmicutes (type of bacteria present in the gut). Furthermore, it also caused immunological effects. Besides, a high-fat diet also disrupted with the role of host (mouse) genetics in bacterial diversity, thereby also influencing the association between gut microbiota (the bacterial composition of the gut) and liver metabolites in the body.

The study provides strong evidence of the link between host genetics, microbial composition, immunological phenotypes, and metabolites. It also connects a high-fat diet to changes in gut microbiota and obesity. Future research could be conducted to study more about metabolic diseases, which could be linked to alterations in gut microbiota due to high-fat diets.

Written by Sakina Bano Mendha


Benson, A. K., Kelly, S. A., Legge, R., Ma, F., Low, S. J., Kim, J., … Pomp, D. (2010). Individuality in gut microbiota composition is a complex polygenic trait shaped by multiple environmental and host genetic factors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(44), 18933–18938. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1007028107

Perez-Munoz, M. E., Mcknite, A. M., Williams, E. G., Auwerx, J., Williams, R. W., Peterson, D. A., & Ciobanu, D. C. (2019). Diet modulates cecum bacterial diversity and physiological phenotypes across the BXD mouse genetic reference population. Plos One, 14(10). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224100

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

Please follow and like us: