Differences in Gut Metabolites and Microbial Composition and Functions between Egyptian and U.S. Children Are Consistent with Their Diets

Feb. 7, 2017

Washington, DC – February 7, 2017 –  The human gastrointestinal microbiota functions as an important mediator of diet for host metabolism. To evaluate how consumed diets influence the gut environment, researchers from Wright State University and the National Research Centre in Egypt carried out simultaneous interrogations of distal gut microbiota and metabolites in samples from healthy children in Egypt and the United States. The research is published this week in mSystems, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 

While Egyptian children consumed a Mediterranean diet rich in plant foods, U.S. children consumed a Western diet high in animal protein, fats, and highly processed carbohydrates. Consistent with the consumed diets, Egyptian gut samples were enriched in polysaccharide-degrading microbes and end products of polysaccharide fermentation, and U.S. gut samples were enriched in proteolytic microbes and end products of protein and fat metabolism. Thus, the intestinal microbiota might be selected on the basis of the diets that we consume, which can affect gut health through modulation of gut microbiota with dietary supplementations.

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 The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 48,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

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