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Title:Variability in Eating Frequency is Associated with the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiota
Author(s):Benishay, Elana T
Contributor(s):Holscher, Hannah D.
Eating frequency
Abstract:Background Research suggests an association between irregular meal frequency and adverse metabolic health risk factors. Furthermore, the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota is increasingly linked to metabolic health. As diet is a key factor in the composition and function of the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota, there is an impetus to assess the links between eating behaviors and the microbiota. Objective We aimed to assess the relationships between eating frequency variability and the composition and function of the human GI microbiota. Methods We analyzed 189 fecal samples collected from 29 healthy adults. Fecal DNA was extracted and sequenced to determine the relative abundances of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) was utilized to assess short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations. Variability in eating frequency was calculated from 7-day diet records by taking the average of the absolute difference between each participant’s eating frequency per day and their average number of eating occasions. A higher value indicates a more irregular eating pattern. Data were analyzed by generalized linear mixed models, which controlled for fiber intake, sex, age, BMI, and repeated sampling. Results Higher variability in eating frequency was associated with higher relative abundance of Clostridium (p=0.0001) and Akkermansia (p=0.01), and higher concentrations of fecal acetate (p=0.04) and butyrate (p=0.004). Conclusions These results indicate that human GI microbes and metabolites are associated with eating behaviors. These relationships, especially acetate with appetite, may be bidirectional. Further studies are needed to determine the directionality of these relationships and their health implications.
Issue Date:2018-04
Genre:Conference Poster
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Elana T Benishay
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-05-21

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