Increasing adherence to the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is associated with reduced fecal calprotectin and intra-individual changes in microbial composition of healthy subjects

L. Godny, L. Reshef, T. Sharar Fischler, S. Elial-Fatal, T. Pfeffer-Gik, B. Raykhel, K. Rabinowitz, A. Levi-Barda, T. T. Perets, R. Barkan, I. Goren, J. E. Ollech, H. Yanai, U. Gophna, I. Dotan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Mediterranean diet (MED) is associated with the modification of gut microbial composition. In this pilot study, we investigate the feasibility of a microbiota-targeted MED-based lifestyle intervention in healthy subjects. MED intervention integrating dietary counseling, a supporting mobile application, and daily physical activity measurement using step trackers was prospectively applied for 4 weeks. Blood and fecal samples were collected at baseline, after the 4-week intervention, and at 6 and 12 months. Blood counts, inflammatory markers, microbial and eukaryotic composition were analyzed. Dietary adherence was assessed using daily questionnaires. All 20 healthy participants (females 65%, median age 37), completed the 4-week intervention. Adherence to MED increased from 15.6 ± 4.1 (baseline) to 23.2 ± 3.6 points (4 weeks), p < .01, reflected by increased dietary fiber and decreased saturated fat intake (both p < .05). MED intervention modestly reduced fecal calprotectin, white blood cell, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts, within the normal ranges (P < .05). Levels of butyrate producers including Faecalibacterium and Lachnospira were positively correlated with adherence to MED and the number of daily steps. Bacterial composition was associated with plant-based food intake, while fungal composition with animal-based food as well as olive oil and sweets. Increasing adherence to MED correlated with increased absolute abundances of multiple beneficial gut symbionts. Therefore, increasing adherence to MED is associated with reduction of fecal calprotectin and beneficial microbial alterations in healthy subjects. Microbiota targeted lifestyle interventions may be used to modify the intestinal ecosystem with potential implications for microbiome-mediated diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2120749
JournalGut Microbes
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Funding

FundersFunder number
Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

    Keywords

    • Microbiome
    • eukaryome
    • inflammation
    • nutrition

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