Associations between Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Gastro-Intestinal Microbiota, Diet, and Cognitive Functioning in Dutch Healthy Older Adults: The NU-AGE Study

Annick P.M. Van Soest*, Gerben D.A. Hermes, Agnes A.M. Berendsen, Ondine Van De Rest, Erwin G. Zoetendal, Susana Fuentes, Aurelia Santoro, Claudio Franceschi, Lisette C.P.G.M. De Groot, Willem M. De Vos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Dietary modulation of the gastro-intestinal microbiota is a potential target in improving healthy ageing and age-related functional outcomes, including cognitive decline.We explored the association between diet, gastro-intestinal microbiota and cognition in Dutch healthy older adults of the ‘New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of the elderly population for healthy
aging in Europe’ (NU-AGE) study. The microbiota profile of 452 fecal samples from 226 subjects was determined using a 16S ribosomal RNA gene-targeted microarray. Dietary intake was assessed by 7-day food records. Cognitive functioning was measured with an extensive cognitive test battery.
We observed a dietary and microbial pro- to anti-inflammatory gradient associated with diets richer in animal- or plant-based foods. Fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and peanuts, red and processed meat and grain products were most strongly associated to microbiota composition. Plant-rich diets containing fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and peanuts were positively correlated with alpha-diversity,
various taxa from the Bacteroidetes phylum and anti-inflammatory species, including those related to Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectale and E. biforme. Animal product-rich diets associated with pro-inflammatory species, including those related to Ruminococcus gnavus and Collinsella spp..
Cognition was neither associated with microbiota composition nor alpha-diversity. In conclusion, diets richer in animal- and plant-based foods were related to a pro- and anti-inflammatory microbial profile, while cognition was associated with neither.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3471
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2020

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