Minor Changes in the Composition and Function of the Gut Microbiota During a 12-Week Whole Grain Wheat or Refined Wheat Intervention Correlate with Liver Fat in Overweight and Obese Adults

Mara P.H. van Trijp, Sophie Schutte, Diederik Esser, Suzan Wopereis, Femke P.M. Hoevenaars, Guido J.E.J. Hooiveld, Lydia A. Afman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Whole grain wheat (WGW) products are advocated as a healthy choice when compared with refined wheat (RW). One proposed mechanism for these health benefits is via the microbiota, because WGW contains multiple fibers. WGW consumption has been proposed to ameliorate nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, in which microbiota might play a role. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the effect of WGW compared with RW intervention on the fecal microbiota composition and functionality, and correlated intervention-induced changes in bacteria with changes in liver health parameters in adults with overweight or obesity. METHODS: We used data of a 12-wk double-blind, randomized, controlled, parallel trial to examine the effects of a WGW (98 g/d) or RW (98 g/d) intervention on the secondary outcomes fecal microbiota composition, predicted microbiota functionality, and stool consistency in 37 women and men (aged 45-70 y, BMI 25-35 kg/m2). The changes in microbiota composition, measured using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, after a 12-wk intervention were analyzed with nonparametric tests, and correlated with changes in liver fat and circulating concentrations of liver enzymes including alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, γ-glutamyltransferase, and serum amyloid A. RESULTS: The WGW intervention increased the mean (± SD) relative abundances of Ruminococcaceae_UCG-014 (baseline: 2.2 ± 4.6%, differential change over time (Δ) 0.51 ± 4.2%), Ruminiclostridium_9 (baseline: 0.065 ± 0.11%, Δ 0.054 ± 0.14%), and Ruminococcaceae_NK4A214_group (baseline: 0.37 ± 0.56%, Δ 0.17 ± 0.83%), and also the predicted pathway acetyl-CoA fermentation to butyrate II (baseline: 0.23 ± 0.062%, Δ 0.035 ± 0.059%), compared with the RW intervention (P values <0.05). A change in Ruminococcaceae_NK4A214_group was positively correlated with the change in liver fat, in both the WGW (ρ = 0.54; P = 0.026) and RW (ρ = 0.67; P = 0.024) groups. CONCLUSIONS: In middle-aged overweight and obese adults, a 12-wk WGW intervention increased the relative abundance of a number of bacterial taxa from the family Ruminococcaceae and increased predicted fermentation pathways when compared with an RW intervention. Potential protective health effects of replacement of RW by WGW on metabolic organs, such as the liver, via modulation of the microbiota, deserve further investigation.This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02385149.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-502
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Volume151
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • fatty liver
  • fermentation
  • gut microbiota
  • human
  • overweight/obesity
  • refined wheat
  • whole grain wheat

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Minor Changes in the Composition and Function of the Gut Microbiota During a 12-Week Whole Grain Wheat or Refined Wheat Intervention Correlate with Liver Fat in Overweight and Obese Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this