Pre-treatment microbial Prevotella-to-Bacteroides ratio, determines body fat loss success during a 6-month randomized controlled diet intervention

Int J Obes (Lond). 2018 Mar;42(3):580-583. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2017.220. Epub 2017 Sep 8.


On the basis of the abundance of specific bacterial genera, the human gut microbiota can be divided into two relatively stable groups that might have a role in personalized nutrition. We studied these simplified enterotypes as prognostic markers for successful body fat loss on two different diets. A total of 62 participants with increased waist circumference were randomly assigned to receive an ad libitum New Nordic Diet (NND) high in fiber/whole grain or an Average Danish Diet for 26 weeks. Participants were grouped into two discrete enterotypes by their relative abundance of Prevotella spp. divided by Bacteroides spp. (P/B ratio) obtained by quantitative PCR analysis. Modifications of dietary effects of pre-treatment P/B group were examined by linear mixed models. Among individuals with high P/B the NND resulted in a 3.15 kg (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.55; 4.76, P<0.001) larger body fat loss compared with ADD, whereas no differences was observed among individuals with low P/B (0.88 kg (95% CI: -0.61; 2.37, P=0.25)). Consequently, a 2.27 kg (95% CI: 0.09; 4.45, P=0.041) difference in responsiveness to the diets were found between the two groups. In summary, subjects with high P/B ratio appeared more susceptible to lose body fat on diets high in fiber and whole grain than subjects with a low P/B ratio.

Trial registration: NCT01195610.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacteroides / physiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / diet therapy*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Prevotella / physiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waist Circumference
  • Weight Loss / physiology*

Associated data