Markers of systemic exposures to products of intestinal bacteria in a dietary intervention study

Faith I. Umoh, Ikuko Kato, Jianwei Ren, Phillip L. Wachowiak, Mack T. Ruffin, D. Kim Turgeon, Ananda Sen, Dean E. Brenner, Zora Djuric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: Systemic exposures to intestinal bacteria may play a role in the etiology of the chronic, low-grade inflammation that is associated with western diets. Production of lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) is one biomarker of increased exposures to intestinal bacteria. This study evaluated whether changes in diet quality could affect serum LBP. Methods: This was a randomized, controlled trial of Mediterranean and Healthy Eating diets over 6 months in 120 healthy subjects at increased risk of colon cancer. Blood samples obtained before and after intervention were analyzed for LBP, branched-chain fatty acids characteristic of intestinal bacteria, micronutrients and cytokines. Data were analyzed for changes in LBP over time and for predictors of LBP. Results: Serum concentrations of branched-chain bacterial fatty acids declined significantly in both diet groups. However, there was no significant change in mean serum LBP concentrations with either diet intervention. In serum, LBP was positively associated with CRP and negatively associated with carotenoids both before and after intervention. After intervention, LBP was predicted positively by both CRP and bacterial fatty acid concentrations in serum, and negatively by serum carotenoids and the ω3/ω6 fatty acid ratio. This model accounted for 30 % of the inter-individual variation in serum LBP after intervention. Conclusions: These results indicate that dietary intervention over 6 months was insufficient to alter serum LBP. The relationships with inflammation-related markers, however, indicate that anti-inflammatory strategies other than changes in diet quality, such as weight loss or improved fitness, may have more potential for reducing systemic markers of LPS exposures in well-nourished populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-798
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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