Diet has a significant influence on the intestinal environment. In this study, we assessed changes in the faecal microbiota induced by an animal-based diet and the effect of the ingestion of yoghurt supplemented with a probiotic strain on these changes. In total, 33 subjects were enrolled in an open, randomised, parallel-group study. After a seven-day pre-observation period, the subjects were allocated into three groups (11 subjects in each group). All of the subjects were provided with an animal-based diet for five days, followed by a balanced diet for 14 days. Subjects in the first group ingested dairy in the form of 200 g of yoghurt supplemented with Bifidobacterium longum during both the animal-based and balanced diet periods (YAB group). Subjects in the second group ingested yoghurt only during the balanced diet period (YB group). Subjects who did not ingest yoghurt throughout the intervention were used as the control (CTR) group. Faecal samples were collected before and after the animal-based diet was provided and after the balanced diet was provided, followed by analysis by high-throughput sequencing of amplicons derived from the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. In the YB and CTR groups, the animal-based diet caused a significant increase in the relative abundance of Bilophila, Odoribacter, Dorea and Ruminococcus (belonging to Lachnospiraceae) and a significant decrease in the level of Bifidobacterium after five days of intake. With the exception of Ruminococcus, these changes were not observed in the YAB group. No significant effect was induced by yoghurt supplementation following an animal-based diet (YB group vs CTR group). These results suggest that the intake of yoghurt supplemented with bifidobacteria played a role in maintaining a normal microbiota composition during the ingestion of a meat-based diet. This study protocol was registered in the University Hospital Medical Information Network: UMIN000014164.
Keywords: Bifidobacterium; Bilophila; dysbiosis; meat-based diet.