Diet influences gut microbiota composition. Therefore, we hypothesized that diet would impact the extent of dietary fiber utilization and the types of metabolic end-products produced by the microbiota during in vitro fecal fermentation. By obtaining long-term dietary records from fecal donors, we aimed to determine the correlations between dietary intake variables and dietary fiber degradation and short-/branched-chain fatty acid (BCFA) and ammonia production during in vitro fecal fermentation. Eighteen subjects completed 1-year diet history questionnaires and provided fecal samples that were used for in vitro fermentation of a whole wheat substrate. The percentage of dietary fiber fermented was not correlated with nutrient intakes; however, butyrate production was correlated with fecal donor intake of many nutrients of which principal component analysis revealed were mostly contributed by grain-, nut-, and vegetable-based foods. Negative correlations were found for propionate with intake of total carbohydrate, added sugar, and sucrose and for ammonia and BCFA production with intake of unsaturated fats. Thus, our analysis did not support our first hypothesis: the percentage of dietary fiber fermented during in vitro fermentation was not correlated with dietary records. However, production of butyrate; BCFA; ammonia; and, to a lesser extent, propionate was correlated with the diet records of fecal donors, thus supporting our second hypothesis. These results suggest that diets high in plant-based foods and high in unsaturated fats are associated with microbial metabolism that is consistent with host health.
- Dietary fiber
- Short chain fatty acids
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics