The gut microbiome modulates associations between adherence to a Mediterranean-style Diet, abdominal adiposity and C-reactive protein in population-level analysis


Amy Jennings, Tilman Kuhn, Nicola P. Bondonno, Sabina Waniek, Corinna Bang, Andre Franke, Jan Kassubek, Hans-Peter Müller, Marcus Both, Katharina S. Weber, Wolfgang Lieb, Aedín Cassidy




The American journal of clinical nutrition




BACKGROUND: Adherence to a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern is likely to have variable effects on body composition but the impact of gut microbiome on this relationship is unknown. OBJECTIVES: To examine the potential mediating effect of the gut microbiome on the associations between Alternate Mediterranean Diet (aMed) scores, abdominal adiposity, and inflammation in population-level analysis. DESIGN: In a community-based sample aged 25-83 years (n=620; 41% female) from Northern Germany we assessed the role of the gut microbiome, sequenced from 16S rRNA genes, on the associations between aMed scores, estimated using validated food-frequency questionnaires, magnetic resonance imaging-determined visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) adipose tissue and C-reactive protein (CRP). RESULTS: Higher aMed scores were associated with lower SAT (-0.86 L (95%CI:-1.56,-0.17), p=0.01), VAT (-0.65 L (95%CI:-1.03,-0.27), p=0.01) and CRP concentrations (-0.35 mg/L; β: -20.1% (95% CI: 35.5, -1.09), p=0.04) in the highest versus lowest tertile after multivariate adjustment. Of the taxa significantly associated with aMed scores, higher abundance of Porphyromonadaceae mediated 11.6%, 9.3% and 8.7% of the associations with lower SAT, VAT and CRP, respectively. Conversely, a lower abundance of Peptostreptococcaceae mediated 13.1% and 18.2% of the association with SAT and CRP levels. Of the individual components of the aMed score, moderate alcohol intake was associated with lower VAT (-0.2 (95%CI:-0.4, -0.1), p=0.01) with a higher abundance of Oxalobacteraceae and lower abundance of Burkholderiaceae explaining 8.3% and 9.6% of this association, respectively. CONCLUSION: These novel data suggest that abundance of specific taxa in the Porphyromonadaceae and Peptostreptococcaceae families may contribute to the association between aMed scores, lower abdominal adipose tissue, and inflammation.