Objective: Yang-deficiency constitution (YADC) is a common unbalanced constitution that predisposes individuals to certain diseases. However, not all people with YADC manifest develop diseases. This calls for delineation of the underlying molecular mechanisms. Previous studies suggested that the gut microbiota and gene differential expression should be considered.
Methods: In the present study, we compared profiles of gut microbiota between four healthy YADC individuals and those of five healthy balanced constitution (BC) counterparts, based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Furthermore, YADC relevant genes identified by comparing 62 healthy YADC and 58 healthy BC individuals in total to perform intersection analysis, functional clustering and pathway enrichment analyses.
Results: The levels of harmful gut microbiota (Prevotellaceae, LDA score > 4.0, P = 0.0141) and beneficial gut microbiota (Ruminococcaceae, LDA score > 4.0, P = 0.0025, Faecalibacterium, LDA score > 4.0, P = 0.0484) were both elevated in healthy YADC individuals. Also, we found that the specific metabolic pathway with 2, 6-Dichloro-p-hydroquinone 1, 2-Dioxygenase (PcpA) as the core in gut microbiota and the glutathione transferase activity has been enriched by YADC relevant genes in healthy YADC individuals were both responsible for the detoxification of halogenated aromatic hydrocarbon substances.
Conclusions: Both beneficial and harmful factors had been detected in healthy YADC individuals, functionally, they may have triggered homeostasis to maintain the health of individuals with YADC. The homeostasis may be maintained by beneficial and harmful factors from gut flora and genes. Future studies are expected to focus on halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons and their detoxification processes.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal microbiome; Gene; Health promotion; Homeostasi; Hydrocarbons, aromatic; Physical constitution theory; Yang deficiency.