The human gut microbiota is highly heterogenous between individuals and also exhibits considerable day-to-day variation within individuals. We hypothesized that diet contributed to such inter- and/or intra-individual variance. Hence, we investigated the extent to which diet normalization impacted microbiota heterogeneity. We leveraged the control arm of our recently reported controlled-feeding study in which nine healthy individuals consumed a standardized additive-free diet for 10 days. Diet normalization did not impact inter-individual differences but reduced the extent of intra-individual day-to-day variation in fecal microbiota composition. Such decreased heterogeneity reflected individual-specific enrichment and depletion of an array of taxa microbiota members and was paralleled by a trend toward reduced intra-individual variance in fecal LPS and flagellin, which, collectively, reflect microbiota's pro-inflammatory potential. Yet, the microbiota of some subjects did not change significantly over the course of the study, suggesting heterogeneity in microbiota resilience to dietary stress or that baseline diets of some subjects were perhaps similar to our study's standardized diet. Collectively, our results indicate that short-term diet heterogeneity contributes to day-to-day intra-individual microbiota composition variance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases