Image_2_Urban Diets Linked to Gut Microbiome and Metabolome Alterations in Children: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study in Thailand.TIF

Loss of traditional diets by food globalization may have adverse impact on the health of human being through the alteration of gut microbial ecosystem. To address this notion, we compared the gut microbiota of urban (n = 17) and rural (n = 28) school-aged children in Thailand in association with their dietary habits. Dietary records indicated that children living in urban Bangkok tended to consume modern high-fat diets, whereas children in rural Buriram tended to consume traditional vegetable-based diets. Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes amplified from stool samples showed that children in Bangkok have less Clostridiales and more Bacteroidales and Selenomonadales compared to children in Buriram and bacterial diversity is significantly less in Bangkok children than in Buriram children. In addition, fecal butyrate and propionate levels decreased in Bangkok children in association with changes in their gut microbial communities. Stool samples of these Thai children were classified into five metabolotypes (MTs) based on their metabolome profiles, each characterized by high concentrations of short and middle chain fatty acids (MT1, n = 17), amino acids (MT2, n = 7), arginine (MT3, n = 6), amino acids, and amines (MT5, n = 8), or an overall low level of metabolites (MT4, n = 4). MT1 and MT4 mainly consisted of samples from Buriram, and MT2 and MT3 mainly consisted of samples from Bangkok, whereas MT5 contained three samples from Bangkok and five from Buriram samples. According to the profiles of microbiota and diets, MT1 and MT2 are characteristic of children in Buriram and Bangkok, respectively. Predicted metagenomics indicated the underrepresentation in MT2 of eight genes involved in pathways of butyrate biosynthesis, notably including paths from glutamate as well as pyruvate. Taken together, this study shows the benefit of high-vegetable Thai traditional diets on gut microbiota and suggests that high-fat and less-vegetable urban dietary habits alter gut microbial communities in Thai children, which resulted in the reduction of colonic short chain fatty acid fermentation.