Effects of Gut Microbiota Manipulation by Antibiotics on Host Metabolism in Obese Humans: a Randomized Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial

  • Dorien Reijnders (Creator)
  • Gijs H. Goossens (Creator)
  • Evelien P.J.G. Neis (Creator)
  • Christina M. van der Beek (Creator)
  • Jasper Most (Creator)
  • Jens J. Holst (Creator)
  • Kaatje Lenaerts (Creator)
  • Ruud S. Kootte (Creator)
  • Max Nieuwdorp (Creator)
  • Albert K. Groen (Creator)
  • Mark Boekschoten (Creator)
  • Gerben Hermes (Creator)
  • Hauke Smidt (Creator)
  • Erwin Zoetendal (Creator)
  • Cornelis H.C. Dejong (Creator)
  • Ellen E. Blaak (Creator)



The gut microbiota has been implicated in obesity and cardiometabolic diseases, although evidence in humans is scarce. We investigated how gut microbiota manipulation by antibiotics (7-day administration of amoxicillin, vancomycin, or placebo) affects host metabolism in 57 obese, prediabetic men. Vancomycin, but not amoxicillin, decreased bacterial diversity and reduced Firmicutes involved in short-chain fatty acid and bile acid metabolism, concomitant with altered plasma and/or fecal metabolite concentrations. Adipose tissue gene expression of oxidative pathways was upregulated by antibiotics, whereas immune-related pathways were downregulated by vancomycin. Antibiotics did not affect tissue-specific insulin sensitivity, energy/substrate metabolism, postprandial hormones and metabolites, systemic inflammation, gut permeability, and adipocyte size. Importantly, energy harvest, adipocyte size, and whole-body insulin sensitivity were not altered at 8-week follow-up, despite a still considerably altered microbial composition, indicating that interference with adult microbiota by 7-day antibiotic treatment has no clinically relevant impact on metabolic health in obese humans.
Date made available15 Jul 2016
PublisherWageningen University


  • Homo sapiens

Accession numbers

  • GSE76003
  • PRJNA305937

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