Impact of Resistant Starch Diets on Gut Microbial Community Dynamics

Andrew Maul (1), Keiko Sing (1), Janet Jannson (2), Robert Knight (3), Ronald Krauss (4), and Regina Lamendella (1,2)

(1)Juniata College, (2)Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, (3) University of Colorado at Boulder, (4) Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute


            Over the past decade, the prevalence of obesity and its associated health issues have become an issue at the forefront of global health.  Understanding the composition of the gut microbiome as it relates to obesity may lead to the development of novel treatments for the disease.  The impacts of a resistant starch diet on the gut microbiome and physiological conditions have not been thoroughly investigated.  In order to determine these effects, a DNA library that specifically targeted the 16S rRNA gene was generated from 94 fecal samples collected from 39 patients who participated in a 56 day, two-phase study.  The DNA collected from the samples was PCR amplified and sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform.  The generated library was then combined with physiological metadata obtained from each of the patients and uploaded to the QIIME database.  Statistical analysis of the metadata was executed through the use of non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) and analysis of variance (ANOVA).  Preliminary results of nMDS showed little correlation between the high and low resistant starch diets and the composition of the gut microbiome.  ANOVA tests showed that insulin, glucose, and certain components of triglycerides were significantly correlated to the high resistant starch diet.  These results suggest that the resistant starch diet does impact physiological variables, but further statistical analysis is needed.  Future results of this study may provide novel biomarkers for obesity as well as insight on potential gut microbes that may be targeted for use in pre- and probiotic therapies for management of obesity related health issues.


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