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Abundance of gut Prevotella at baseline and metabolic response to barley prebiotics

Journal article
Authors J. Sandberg
Petia Kovatcheva-Datchary
I. Bjorck
Fredrik Bäckhed
A. Nilsson
Published in European Journal of Nutrition
Volume 58
Issue 6
Pages 2365-2376
ISSN 1436-6207
Publication year 2019
Published at Wallenberg Laboratory
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 2365-2376
Language en
Keywords Prevotella, Bacteroides, Barley, Prevention, Stratification, Glucose regulation, glucose-tolerance, bacterial, starch, meal, Nutrition & Dietetics
Subject categories Nutrition and Dietetics


Purpose We previously showed that short-term intervention with barley kernel bread (BKB) improved glucose tolerance. However, glucose tolerance was not improved in a subset of individuals (non-responders) who were characterized by a low Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio. The purpose of the present study was to investigate if the baseline Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio can be used to stratify metabolic responders and non-responders to barley dietary fiber (DF). Methods Fecal samples were collected from 99 healthy humans with BMI < 28 kg/m(2) between 50 and 70 years old. The abundance of fecal Prevotella and Bacteroides was quantified with 16S rRNA quantitative PCR. 33 subjects were grouped in three groups: subjects with highest Prevotella/Bacteroides ratios, "HP", n = 12; subjects with lowest Prevotella/Bacteroides ratios, "LP", n = 13; and subjects with high abundance of both measured bacteria, HPB, n = 8. A 3-day randomized crossover intervention with BKB and white wheat bread (control) was performed. Cardiometabolic test variables were analyzed the next day following a standardized breakfast. Results The BKB intervention lowered the blood glucose responses to the breakfast independently of Prevotella/Bacteroides ratios (P < 0.01). However, independently of intervention, the HP group displayed an overall lower insulin response and lower IL-6 concentrations compared with the LP group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the groups HP and HPB showed lower hunger sensations compared to the LP group (P < 0.05). Conclusions Here we show that the abundance of gut Prevotella and Bacteroides at baseline did not stratify metabolic responders and non-responders to barley DF intervention. However, our results indicate the importance of gut microbiota in host metabolic regulation, further suggesting that higher Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio may be favorable. ID NCT02427555

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