The Human Gut and Dietary Salt: The Bacteroides/Prevotella Ratio as a Potential Marker of Sodium Intake and Beyond

Omololu Fagunwa*, Kirsty Davies, JANE BRADBURY

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

The gut microbiota is a dynamic ecosystem that plays a pivotal role in maintaining host health. The perturbation of these microbes has been linked to several health conditions. Hence, they have emerged as promising targets for understanding and promoting good health. Despite the growing body of research on the role of sodium in health, its effects on the human gut microbiome remain under-explored. Here, using nutrition and metagenomics methods, we investigate the influence of dietary sodium intake and alterations of the human gut microbiota. We found that a high-sodium diet (HSD) altered the gut microbiota composition with a significant reduction in Bacteroides and inverse increase in Prevotella compared to a low-sodium diet (LSD). However, there is no clear distinction in the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes (F/B) ratio between the two diet types. Metabolic pathway reconstruction revealed the presence of sodium reabsorption genes in the HSD, but not LSD. Since it is currently difficult in microbiome studies to confidently associate the F/B ratio with what is considered healthy (e.g., low sodium) or unhealthy (e.g., high sodium), we suggest that the use of a genus-based ratio such as the Bacteroides/Prevotella (B/P) ratio may be more beneficial for the application of microbiome studies in health.
Original languageEnglish
Article number942
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalNutrients
Volume16
Issue number7
Early online date20 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Microbiome
  • gut
  • microbial ratios
  • ENaC
  • TspO
  • sodium intake
  • cholesterol
  • Bacteroides Prevotella

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