Association of dietary patterns with the gut microbiota in older, community-dwelling men

James M. Shikany, Ryan T. Demmer, Abigail J. Johnson, Nora F. Fino, Katie Meyer, Kristine E. Ensrud, Nancy E. Lane, Eric S. Orwoll, Deborah M. Kado, Joseph M. Zmuda, Lisa Langsetmo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: While the gut microbiota is relatively stable through adulthood, its composition is influenced by various host and environmental factors, including changes in health, gastrointestinal processes (e.g., transit time, gastric acidity), medication use, and diet. The association of habitual diet, in the form of a posteriori-derived dietary patterns, and microbiota composition has not been adequately studied, particularly in older men. Objective: The objective was to investigate the association of dietary patterns with the composition and diversity of the gut bacterial microbiota in community-dwelling, older men. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 517 men who were participants in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study (≥65 y of age at baseline in 2000-2002) and who provided a stool sample and completed an FFQ at MrOS Visit 4 in 2014-2016. Dietary patterns were derived by factor analysis. 16S ribosomal RNA target gene sequencing was performed and taxonomy assignments were derived using the Greengenes database. Linear regression and permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) considered variations in alpha and beta diversity by dietary pattern, and a model that implements a 0-inflated Gaussian distribution of mean group abundance for each taxa (metagenomeSeq) assessed taxonomic variations by dietary pattern. Results: In multivariable-adjusted models, greater adherence to the Western pattern was positively associated with families Mogibacteriaceae and Veillonellaceae and genera Alistipes, Anaerotruncus, CC-115, Collinsella, Coprobacillus, Desulfovibrio, Dorea, Eubacterium, and Ruminococcus, while greater adherence to the prudent pattern was positively associated with order Streptophyta, family Victivallaceae, and genera Cetobacterium, Clostridium, Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Paraprevotella, and Veillonella. The relative abundance of the dominant gut bacterial phyla, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, did not differ between participants with greater adherence to the Western pattern, compared with those with greater adherence to the prudent pattern. Dietary patterns were not associated with measures of alpha diversity, but beta diversity measures were significantly associated with both Western and prudent patterns. Conclusions: We observed significant associations between dietary patterns and measures of gut microbial composition in this sample of community-dwelling, older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1014
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health through support from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and the National Institutes of Health Roadmap for Medical Research (grant numbers U01 AG027810, U01 AG042124, U01 AG042139, U01 AG042140, U01 AG042143, U01 AG042145, U01 AG042168, U01 AR066160, and UL1 TR000128). Address correspondence to JMS (e-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Society for Nutrition.


  • 16S rRNA gene sequencing
  • Greengenes database
  • Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study
  • alpha diversity
  • beta diversity
  • dietary patterns
  • food-frequency questionnaire
  • microbiota
  • older adults


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