The same microbiota and a potentially discriminant metabolome in the saliva of omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and Vegan individuals

PLoS One. 2014 Nov 5;9(11):e112373. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112373. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

The salivary microbiota has been linked to both oral and non-oral diseases. Scant knowledge is available on the effect of environmental factors such as long-term dietary choices on the salivary microbiota and metabolome. This study analyzed the microbial diversity and metabolomic profiles of the saliva of 161 healthy individuals who followed an omnivore or ovo-lacto-vegetarian or vegan diet. A large core microbiota was identified, including 12 bacterial genera, found in >98% of the individuals. The subjects could be stratified into three "salivary types" that differed on the basis of the relative abundance of the core genera Prevotella, Streptococcus/Gemella and Fusobacterium/Neisseria. Statistical analysis indicated no effect of dietary habit on the salivary microbiota. Phylogenetic beta-diversity analysis consistently showed no differences between omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and vegan individuals. Metabolomic profiling of saliva using (1)H-NMR and GC-MS/SPME identified diet-related biomarkers that enabled a significant discrimination between the 3 groups of individuals on the basis of their diet. Formate, urea, uridine and 5-methyl-3-hexanone could discriminate samples from omnivores, whereas 1-propanol, hexanoic acid and proline were characteristic of non-omnivore diets. Although the salivary metabolome can be discriminating for diet, the microbiota has a remarkable inter-individual stability and did not vary with dietary habits. Microbial homeostasis might be perturbed with sub-standard oral hygiene or other environmental factors, but there is no current indication that a choice of an omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian or vegan diet can lead to a specific composition of the oral microbiota with consequences on the oral homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Diet, Vegan
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolome / physiology*
  • Microbiota / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Vegans*

Associated data

  • SRA/SRP035877

Grant support

This study was supported by the Italian Ministry of University and Research [MIUR] program PRIN 2010–2011. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.