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Farsijani S, Cauley JA, Peddada SD, Langsetmo L, Shikany JM, Orwoll ES, Ensrud KE, Cawthon PM, Newman AB. Relation Between Dietary Protein Intake and Gut Microbiome Composition in Community-Dwelling Older Men: Findings from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS). The Journal of Nutrition. 2023 Jan 14; 152(12):2877-2887.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the association of specific nutrients, especially proteins, on age-related gut dysbiosis. OBJECTIVES: To determine the associations between the quantity and sources (vegetable and animal) of dietary protein intake and gut microbiome composition in community-dwelling older men. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional analysis on 775 older men from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) (age 84.2 ± 4.0 y) with available dietary information and stool samples at visit 4 (2014-2016). Protein intake was estimated from a brief FFQ and adjusted to total energy intake. The gut microbiome composition was determined by 16S (v4) sequencing (processed by DADA2 and SILVA). A total of 11,534 amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were identified and assigned to 21 phyla with dominance of Firmicutes (45%) and Bacteroidetes (43%). We performed a-diversity, ß-diversity, and taxa abundance (by Analysis of Compositions of Microbiomes with Bias Correction [ANCOM-BC]) to determine the associations between protein intake and the gut microbiome. RESULTS: Median protein intake was 0.7 g/(kg body weight · d). Participants with higher energy-adjusted protein intakes had higher Shannon and Chao1 a-diversity indices (P < 0.05). For ß-diversity analysis, participants with higher protein intakes had a different center in weighted and unweighted UniFrac Principal Co-ordinates Analysis (PCoA) compared with those with lower intake (P < 0.05), adjusted for age, race, education, clinical center, batch number, fiber and energy intake, weight, height, and medications. Similarly, higher protein consumptions from either animal or vegetable sources were associated with higher gut microbiome diversity. Several genus-level ASVs, including Christensenellaceae, Veillonella, Haemophilus, and Klebsiella were more abundant in participants with higher protein intakes, whereas Clostridiales bacterium DTU089 and Desulfovibrio were more abundant in participants with lower protein intake (Bonferroni corrected P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: We observed significant associations between protein intake and gut microbiome diversity in community-living older men. Further studies are needed to elucidate the mediation role of the gut microbiome on the relation between protein intake and health outcomes in older adults.