Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

PubMed ID





School of Medical and Health Sciences / Institute for Nutrition Research




Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft / Germany's Excellence Strategy and german Federal Ministry of Education and Research grant / German Federal Ministry of Education and Research grant / Medical Faculty of the University of Kiel


Jennings, A., Kühn, T., Bondonno, N. P., Waniek, S., Bang, C., Franke, A., . . . Cassidy, A. (2024). The gut microbiome modulates associations between adherence to a mediterranean-style diet, abdominal adiposity, and c-reactive protein in population-level analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 119(Issue 1), 136-144.


Background: Adherence to a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern is likely to have variable effects on body composition, but the impact of gut microbiome on this relationship is unknown. Objectives: To examine the potential mediating effect of the gut microbiome on the associations between Alternate Mediterranean Diet (aMed) scores, abdominal adiposity, and inflammation in population-level analysis. Design: In a community-based sample aged 25 to 83 y (n = 620; 41% female) from Northern Germany, we assessed the role of the gut microbiome, sequenced from 16S rRNA genes, on the associations between aMed scores, estimated using validated food-frequency questionnaires, magnetic resonance imaging-determined visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) adipose tissue and C-reactive protein (CRP). Results: Higher aMed scores were associated with lower SAT (-0.86 L (95% CI: -1.56, -0.17), P = 0.01), VAT (-0.65 L (95% CI: -1.03,-0.27), P = 0.01) and CRP concentrations (-0.35 mg/L; : −20.1% (95% CI: 35.5, -1.09), P = 0.04) in the highest versus lowest tertile after multivariate adjustment. Of the taxa significantly associated with aMed scores, higher abundance of Porphyromonadaceae mediated 11.6%, 9.3%, and 8.7% of the associations with lower SAT, VAT, and CRP, respectively. Conversely, a lower abundance of Peptostreptococcaceae mediated 13.1% and 18.2% of the association with SAT and CRP levels. Of the individual components of the aMed score, moderate alcohol intake was associated with lower VAT (-0.2 (95% CI: -0.4, -0.1), P =0.01) with a higher abundance of Oxalobacteraceae and lower abundance of Burkholderiaceae explaining 8.3% and 9.6% of this association, respectively. Conclusion: These novel data suggest that abundance of specific taxa in the Porphyromonadaceae and Peptostreptococcaceae families may contribute to the association between aMed scores, lower abdominal adipose tissue, and inflammation.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.