The Gut Microbiome and Abiotic Factors as Potential Determinants of Postprandial Glucose Responses: A Single-Arm Meal Study

Nathalie Nestel, Josephine D. Hvass, Martin Iain Bahl, Lars H. Hansen, Lukasz Krych, Dennis S. Nielsen, Lars Ove Dragsted, Henrik M. Roager*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

The gut microbiome has combined with other person-specific information, such as blood parameters, dietary habits, anthropometrics, and physical activity been found to predict personalized postprandial glucose responses (PPGRs) to various foods. Yet, the contributions of specific microbiome taxa, measures of fermentation, and abiotic factors in the colon to glycemic control remain elusive. We tested whether PPGRs 60 min after a standardized breakfast was associated with gut microbial α-diversity (primary outcome) and explored whether postprandial responses of glucose and insulin were associated with specific microbiome taxa, colonic fermentation as reflected by fecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and breath hydrogen and methane exhalation, as well as abiotic factors including fecal pH, fecal water content, fecal energy density, intestinal transit time (ITT), and stool consistency. A single-arm meal trial was conducted. A total of 31 healthy (24 female and seven male) subjects consumed a standardized evening meal and a subsequent standardized breakfast (1,499 kJ) where blood was collected for analysis of postprandial glucose and insulin responses. PPGRs to the same breakfast varied across the healthy subjects. The largest inter-individual variability in PPGRs was observed 60 min after the meal but was not associated with gut microbial α-diversity. In addition, no significant associations were observed between postprandial responses and specific taxa of the gut microbiome, measures of colonic fermentation, ITT, or other abiotic factors. However, fasting glucose concentrations were negatively associated with ITT, and fasting insulin was positively associated with fasting breath hydrogen. In conclusion, the gut microbiome, measures of colonic fermentation, and abiotic factors were not shown to be significantly associated with variability in postprandial responses, suggesting that contributions of the gut microbiome, colonic fermentation, and abiotic factors to PPGRs may be subtle in healthy adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number594850
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Volume7
Number of pages9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • abiotic factors
  • colonic fermentation
  • gut microbiome
  • individuality
  • intestinal transit time
  • personalized nutrition

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