Gut microbiome profiles according to sex, body mass index and dietary fiber intake
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Findings from recent studies suggest that the community of microbes residing in the human body is important in disease etiology; however, it remains unclear whether personal factors modulate human microbial composition. Studies based on animal models indicate that differences in composition might be attributed to sex-mediated effects. We analyzed the relationship of sex, adiposity, and dietary fiber intake with gut microbial composition using fecal samples from human subjects. We explored the associations of these factors with metrics of community composition and specific taxon abundances. We found that men and women had significantly different microbial community composition and that women had reduced abundance of a major phylum. Adiposity was associated with gut microbiome composition and specifically in women but not in men. Fiber from fruits and vegetables and fiber from beans were each associated with increased abundance of specific bacterial taxa. These findings provide initial indications that sex, adiposity, and dietary fiber might play important roles in influencing the human gut microbiome. Better understanding of these factors may have significant implications for gastrointestinal health and disease prevention.
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