2014 Preliminary Results
The American Gut project has many more samples representing more groups of people than other studies, such as the Human Microbiome Project, Global Gut, or Personal Genome Project.
The microbiome changes as we grow! As you get older, your gut microbiome becomes more diverse.
Antibiotic usage also affects our microbiomes, by reducing diversity and thereby creating a less healthy gut environment.
The more different types of plants a person eats, the higher their gut microbiome diversity.
Alcohol consumption also affects microbiome diversity-those who had at least one drink per week had a more diverse microbiome than those who abstained from alcohol.
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2017 Manuscript Findings
In a comparison of adult samples from industrialized regions to adults living traditional lifestyles (such as hunter-gatherer or agrarian), there is a greater variation of unique phylogenetic branches between two samples from the industrial populations than from within traditional populations.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was found to be enriched in those reported to be consuming 30+ plants per week. CLA is known to be associated with reducing inflammation and cardiovascular disease, as well as an end product of a conversion done by lactic acid bacteria in the gut.
Plant consumption is also associated with a reduction in certain antibiotic resistance genes.
There is a larger molecular diversity in individuals who had taken antibiotics within the month prior to taking their sample compared to those who did not. This differs from the 16S diversity, where antibiotic use showed decrease diversity.
Upon studying microbial composition of a subject prior to and following a large bowel resection, the subject’s samples more closely resembled those of ICU patients immediately following surgery. Over time, the microbial configuration changes spanned the diversity associated with the AGP population , and continued to change once it returned into the AGP fecal space.
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