Dietary patterns throughout time have a significant impact on the gut microbiome. Microbiome composition has been linked to cardiometabolic risk in association with specific meal ingredients. According to new research, the microbiome composition determines the efficiency of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) in reducing cardiometabolic risk.
Furthermore, long-term dietary patterns similar to the MedDiet have been connected to certain features of microbiome composition, such as keystone species change and reduction of intestinal inflammation. Nonetheless, there is little agreement among studies on the influence of MedDiet on gut flora.
Concerning the research
The current study examined the effect of a lead-in diet on participants’ responses to a 48-hour MedDiet intervention.
The subjects followed a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) for the first three days, then a Canadian diet (CanDiet) for 13 days, and then a MedDiet for three days. The CanDiet was created to represent current Canadian macronutrient consumption while preventing short-term nutritional shortfalls.
The MedDiet included more vegetables and fruits, grains, and plant-based proteins. It has more monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), fibers, and less red meat and saturated fatty acids (SFAs).
The participants were instructed to consume the foods and beverages given by the study in order to meet their calculated energy requirements. The energy demands of each individual were determined by averaging the energy demands assessed using a validated web-based 24-hour dietary recall (R24W). The R24W was run on three different occasions, and the energy expenditure was calculated using the Harris-Benedict formula. The R24W was also used to calculate the healthy eating index (HEI).
A total of 21 healthy young adults aged 20 to 34 years, 11 females and ten males, with a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 18.5 to 30 kg/m2, successfully completed the study. After an overnight fast, blood and stool samples were taken on the morning of each dietary alteration. V2 and V4 samples were obtained 48 hours after the MedDiet was consumed. The levels of PUFAs, monoacyl-glycerols (MAGs), and N-acyl-ethanolamines (NAEs) in plasma samples were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
In comparison to the CanDiet and the baseline, plasma levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids increased in response to the two MedDiet regimens. Several endocannabinoidome (eCBome) mediators, including N-eicosapentaenoyl-ethanolamine (EPEA), NAEs, and DHEA, as well as 2-docosahexaenoyl-glycerol (2-DHG), 2-eicosapentaenoyl-glycerol (2-EPG), and 2-MAGs increased following both MedDiet regimens.
The first MedDiet intervention had no effect on short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) or branched CFAs (BCFAs). Valerate, propionate, isobutyrate, and isovalerate, on the other hand, increased dramatically after the CanDiet and then fell after the second MedDiet. The quantities of bioactive lipids in MedDiet at V2 and V4 were not significantly different. However, V4 analysis implies that diet stabilization improved the reproducibility of metabolite responses.
In general, the fold changes in metabolites observed between the second MedDiet (V4) and the CanDiet (V3), as well as between the CanDiet and the first MedDiet (V3/V2), were diametrically opposed. This proved that eating has a direct effect on these metabolites. Overall, because these metabolites reacted to short-term diet modifications, the lead-in diet had no effect on the reactivity of bioactive lipids during MedDiet therapy. Furthermore, the second MedDiet intervention elicited a stronger and less variable response from BCFAs.
Simpson’s and Shannon’s microbiota diversity increased significantly after the dietary intervention. All significantly changed taxa, with the exception of Bacteroides, had baseline relative abundances of less than 5%. The researchers discovered three microbial response patterns.
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First, irrespective of the lead-in diet, MedDiet interventions resulted in a reproducible boost of seven genera: Butyricoccus, and Coprococcus.1, Bacteroides, Lachnoclostridium, Parasutterella, Lachnospira, and Lachnospiraceae UCG 001. Second, the CanDiet transformed specific genera, including Romboutsia, Roseburia, Ruminococcaceae UCG 004, Collinsella, and Subdoligranulum, making them reversible with MedDiet therapy. Finally, taxa whose relative abundance was affected by the CanDiet did not return to baseline after the second MedDiet.
Numerous taxa from the gut microbiota had a stable connection with microbial diversity throughout multiple visits, demonstrating the persistence of the relationship between microbiota content and diversity even when the diet is changed. Among the taxa strongly associated with baseline microbiome diversity, only Lachnospira and Lachnoclostridium were significantly affected by diet. There were no significant associations between plasma metabolites and microbial diversity after FDR adjustment.
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The study’s findings revealed that lipid mediators, which play an important role in the interplay between host metabolism and gut microbiota, reacted quickly to dietary changes. The gut flora and BCFA response to the MedDiet was impacted by the lead-in diet. The researchers also discovered that greater initial microbiome diversity improved gut microbial stability in response to dietary changes. According to the researchers, the study addressed the importance of preceding nutrition in exploring the relationship between the gut microbiome and host metabolism.