Despite tremendous interest in modulating the microbiome to improve health, the association between diet and the colonic mucosa-associated gut microbiome in healthy individuals has not been examined.
To investigate the associations between Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005 and the colonic mucosa-associated microbiota.
In this cross-sectional observational study, we analyzed bacterial community composition and structure using 16S rRNA gene (V4 region) sequencing of 97 colonic mucosal biopsies obtained endoscopically from different colon segments of 34 polyp-free participants. Dietary consumption was ascertained using an FFQ. Differences in α- and β-diversity and taxonomic relative abundances between the higher and lower score of total HEI and its components were compared, followed by multivariable analyses.
The structure of the microbiota significantly differed by the scores for total HEI, total and whole fruits (HEI 1 and HEI 2), whole grains (HEI 6), milk products and soy beverages (HEI 7), and solid fat, alcohol, and added sugar (HEI 12). A lower score for total HEI and HEIs 2, 7, and 12 was associated with significantly lower richness. A lower score for total HEI was associated with significantly reduced relative abundance of Parabacteroides, Roseburia, and Subdoligranulum but higher Fusobacterium. A lower score for HEI 2 was associated with lower Roseburia but higher Bacteroides. A lower score for HEI 7 was associated with lower Faecalibacterium and Fusobacterium but higher Bacteroides. A lower score for HEI 12 was associated with lower Subdoligranulum but higher Escherichia and Fusobacterium (false discovery rate-adjusted P values <0.05). The findings were confirmed by multivariate analysis. Less abundant bacteria such as Alistipes, Odoribacter, Bilophila, and Tyzzerella were also associated with dietary quality.
A lower score for total HEI-2005 was significantly associated with reduced relative abundance of potentially beneficial bacteria but increased potentially harmful bacteria in the colonic mucosa of endoscopically normal individuals.