Abundance of gut Prevotella at baseline and metabolic response to barley prebiotics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: We previously showed that short-term intervention with barley kernel bread (BKB) improved glucose tolerance. However, glucose tolerance was not improved in a subset of individuals (non-responders) who were characterized by a low Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio. The purpose of the present study was to investigate if the baseline Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio can be used to stratify metabolic responders and non-responders to barley dietary fiber (DF). Methods: Fecal samples were collected from 99 healthy humans with BMI < 28 kg/m2 between 50 and 70 years old. The abundance of fecal Prevotella and Bacteroides was quantified with 16S rRNA quantitative PCR. 33 subjects were grouped in three groups: subjects with highest Prevotella/Bacteroides ratios, “HP”, n = 12; subjects with lowest Prevotella/Bacteroides ratios, “LP”, n = 13; and subjects with high abundance of both measured bacteria, HPB, n = 8. A 3-day randomized crossover intervention with BKB and white wheat bread (control) was performed. Cardiometabolic test variables were analyzed the next day following a standardized breakfast. Results: The BKB intervention lowered the blood glucose responses to the breakfast independently of Prevotella/Bacteroides ratios (P < 0.01). However, independently of intervention, the HP group displayed an overall lower insulin response and lower IL-6 concentrations compared with the LP group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the groups HP and HPB showed lower hunger sensations compared to the LP group (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Here we show that the abundance of gut Prevotella and Bacteroides at baseline did not stratify metabolic responders and non-responders to barley DF intervention. However, our results indicate the importance of gut microbiota in host metabolic regulation, further suggesting that higher Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio may be favorable. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02427555


  • Jonna Sandberg
  • Petia Kovatcheva-Datchary
  • Inger Björck
  • Fredrik Bäckhed
  • Anne Nilsson
External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
  • University of Copenhagen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Bacteroides, Barley, Glucose regulation, Prevention, Prevotella, Stratification
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2365-2376
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch