California strawberry consumption increased the abundance of gut microorganisms related to lean body weight, health and longevity in healthy subjects

Nutr Res. 2021 Jan:85:60-70. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2020.12.006. Epub 2020 Dec 5.


It was our hypothesis that foods high in polyphenols and fiber have prebiotic activity. This human intervention study aimed to determine if daily consumption of freeze-dried California strawberry powder (SBP) leads to changes in the intestinal microbiota, fecal cholesterol and bile acid (BA) microbial metabolites. Fifteen healthy adults consumed a beige diet+26 g of SBP for 4 weeks, followed by 2 weeks of beige diet only. Stool samples were collected at 0, 4, and 6 weeks. Fecal microbiota was analyzed by 16S rRNA sequencing; fecal cholesterol, BA, and microbial metabolites by gas chromatography. Confirming compliance, urine concentration of pelargonidin, urolithin A glucuronide and dimethylellagic acid glucuronide were present after 4 weeks of SBP consumption. Daily SBP altered the abundance of 24 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Comparing week 4 to baseline the most significant increases were observed for one OTU from Firmicutes\Clostridia\ Christensenellaceae\NA, one OTU from Firmicutes\ Clostridia\Mogibacteriacea\NA, one OTU from Verrucomicrobia\ Verrucomicrobiaceae\Akkermansia\Muciniphila, one OTU from Actinobacteria\ Bifidobacteriaceae\Bifidobacterium\NA, and one OTU from Bacteroidetes\Bacteroidia\ Bacteroidaceae\Bacteroides and decrease of one OTU from Proteobacteria\ Betaproteobacteria\Alcaligenaceae\Sutterella. Comparing week 4 to 6, we observed a reversal of the same OTUs from C Christensenellaceae, V muciniphilia and C Mogibacteriaceae. Fecal short chain fatty acids and most of the fecal markers including cholesterol, coprostanol, primary and secondary BAs were not changed significantly except for lithocholic acid, which was increased significantly at week 6 compared to baseline. In summary, SBP consumption increased the abundance of gut microorganisms related to lean body weight, health and longevity, and increased fecal lithocholic acid at week 6 in healthy study participants.

Keywords: Fecal bile acids; Fecal cholesterol; Human study; Microbiome; Strawberry.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bile Acids and Salts / analysis
  • Body Weight*
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Diet*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / analysis
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Fragaria*
  • Fruit*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Health
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Longevity*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Young Adult


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Lipids
  • Cholesterol