Herbs and Spices Modulate Gut Bacterial Composition in Adults at Risk for CVD: Results of a Prespecified Exploratory Analysis from a Randomized, Crossover, Controlled-Feeding Study
Petersen, Kristina S. (TTU)
Chen See, Jeremy R.
Kris-Etherton, Penny M.
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Background: Herbs and spices are rich in polyphenolic compounds that may influence gut bacterial composition. The effect of culinary doses of herbs and spices consumed as part of a well-defined dietary pattern on gut bacterial composition has not been previously studied. Objectives: The aim of this prespecified exploratory analysis was to examine gut bacterial composition following an average American diet (carbohydrate: 50% kcal; protein: 17%; total fat: 33%; saturated fat: 11%) containing herbs and spices at 0.5, 3.3, and 6.6 g.d-1.2100 kcal-1 [low-, moderate-, and high-spice diets, respectively (LSD, MSD, and HSD)] in adults at risk for CVD. Methods: Fifty-four adults (57% female; mean ± SD age: 45 ± 11 y; BMI: 29.8 ± 2.9 kg/m2; waist circumference: 102.8 ± 7.1 cm) were included in this 3-period, randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding study. Each diet was provided for 4 wk with a minimum 2-wk washout period. At baseline and the end of each diet period, participants provided a fecal sample for 16S rRNA gene (V4 region) sequencing. QIIME2 was used for data filtration, sequence clustering, taxonomy assignment, and statistical analysis. Results: α-diversity assessed by the observed features metric (P = 0.046) was significantly greater following the MSD as compared with the LSD; no other between-diet differences in α-diversity were detected. Differences in β-diversity were not observed between the diets (P = 0.45). Compared with baseline, β-diversity differed following all diets (P <. 02). Enrichment of the Ruminococcaceae family was observed following the HSD as compared with the MSD (relative abundance = 22.14%, linear discriminant analysis = 4.22, P = 0.03) and the LSD (relative abundance = 24.90%, linear discriminant analysis = 4.47, P = 0.004). Conclusions: The addition of herbs and spices to an average American diet induced shifts in gut bacterial composition after 4 wk in adults at risk for CVD. The metabolic implications of these changes merit further investigation. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03064932.