High intake of dietary fructose in overweight/obese teenagers associated with depletion of Eubacterium and Streptococcus in gut microbiome

Gut Microbes. 2019;10(6):712-719. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2019.1592420. Epub 2019 Apr 16.


Background: A western high fat, high carbohydrate diet has been shown to be associated with decreased gut bacterial diversity and reductions in beneficial bacteria. This gut bacteria dysbiosis could develop in early life and contribute to chronic disease risk such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.Objective: To determine how dietary macronutrients are associated with the relative abundance of gut bacteria in healthy adolescents.Methods: Fifty-two obese participants (12-19 years) from two studies, many who were primarily of Hispanic background, provided fecal samples for 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Dietary macronutrients were assessed using 24-hour diet recalls and body composition was assessed using DEXA. General regression models assuming a negative binomial distribution were used to examine the associations between gut bacteria and dietary fiber, saturated fat, unsaturated fats, protein, added sugar, total sugar and free fructose after adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, body fat percentage, study and caloric intake.Results: The genera Eubacterium (Benjamini-Hochberg (BH) corrected p-value = 0.10) and Streptococcus (BH corrected p-value = 0.04) were inversely associated with dietary fructose intake. There were no other significant associations between abundances of gut microbes and other dietary macronutrients, including fiber, fat, protein, total sugar or added sugar.Conclusions: High dietary fructose was associated with lower abundance of the beneficial microbes Eubacterium and Streptococcus, which are involved with carbohydrate metabolism.

Keywords: Eubacterium; Fructose; Streptococcus; adolescents; gut microbiota; macronutrients; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Body Composition
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Dietary Sugars / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Sugars / analysis
  • Eubacterium / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Fructose / adverse effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / microbiology*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Streptococcus / growth & development*
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Sugars
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Fructose