Improvement in cardiometabolic risk markers following a multifunctional diet is associated with gut microbial taxa in healthy overweight and obese subjects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: A multifunctional diet (MFD) targeting subclinical inflammation was developed as a tool to decrease risk factors for cardiometabolic disease in healthy “at-risk” individuals (BMI 25–33 kg/m2). MFD contains several components that are degraded in the colon by the microbiota, such as dietary fibers from rye, barley, oats and berries. It also contains soy beans, oily fish and plant stanols. In previous studies, we have observed improved cardiometabolic markers in healthy at-risk individuals after 4–8 week intake of MFD. However, whether these improvements can be associated with changes in the gut microbiota composition has not been investigated. In the present study, we analyzed the gut microbiota before and after an 8-week dietary intervention with MFD. Methods: Cardiometabolic at-risk individuals (n = 47), between 51 and 72 years old and with a BMI of 25–33 kg/m2, were given either the MFD or a control diet lacking the functional (“active”) components for 8 weeks in a parallel, randomized design. Next-generation sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes was used to analyze the gut microbiota composition. Results: The 8-week intervention with MFD did not significantly alter the gut microbiota composition at phylum or genus taxonomic levels, while LEfSE analysis identified increased abundance of Prevotella copri in the MFD group as compared to the control group. Treponema correlated positively with blood pressure. In contrast, Faecalibacterium showed a negative association with blood pressure, while Bilophila appeared to associate with a negative blood lipid profile. Conclusions: Taken together, results from the present study may be used in the further development of effective dietary concepts capable of reducing cardiometabolic risk markers in humans through a targeted modulation of the gut microbial community. Trial registration number: Clinical NCT02148653.


External organisations
  • InnovaFood AB
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Cardiovascular, Diet, Human, Microbiota, Obese, Prevention
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2927-2936
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Early online date2017 Nov 2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch