Gut Microbes (Jan 2021)

Elevated gut microbiome abundance of Christensenellaceae, Porphyromonadaceae and Rikenellaceae is associated with reduced visceral adipose tissue and healthier metabolic profile in Italian elderly

  • Teresa Tavella,
  • Simone Rampelli,
  • Giulia Guidarelli,
  • Alberto Bazzocchi,
  • Chiara Gasperini,
  • Estelle Pujos-Guillot,
  • Blandine Comte,
  • Monica Barone,
  • Elena Biagi,
  • Marco Candela,
  • Claudio Nicoletti,
  • Fawzi Kadi,
  • Giuseppe Battista,
  • Stefano Salvioli,
  • Paul W. O’Toole,
  • Claudio Franceschi,
  • Patrizia Brigidi,
  • Silvia Turroni,
  • Aurelia Santoro

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 1


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Aging is accompanied by physiological changes affecting body composition and functionality, including accumulation of fat mass at the expense of muscle mass, with effects upon morbidity and quality of life. The gut microbiome has recently emerged as a key environmental modifier of human health that can modulate healthy aging and possibly longevity. However, its associations with adiposity in old age are still poorly understood. Here we profiled the gut microbiota in a well-characterized cohort of 201 Italian elderly subjects from the NU-AGE study, by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. We then tested for association with body composition from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), with a focus on visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Dietary patterns, serum metabolome and other health-related parameters were also assessed. This study identified distinct compositional structures of the elderly gut microbiota associated with DXA parameters, diet, metabolic profiles and cardio-metabolic risk factors.