Gut Ecology

Longitudinal analysis reveals transition barriers between dominant ecological states in the gut microbiome

An important part of the Pioneer 100 study was profiling the gut microbiome of study participants. We know the importance of gut health in maintaining wellness and its impact on diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. Our gut ecology may also influence how we metabolize different foods, which can lead to personalized diets to maximize wellness. 

In this paper, we conduct a longitudinal analysis of the Pioneer 100 microbiome data by studying gut microbiota Bacteroides and Prevotella as key determinants of gut diversity and health. The abundance of these gut flora correlated with metabolic intermediates, forming an ecological gradient associated with inflammation and cholesterol markers. 

Results roundup:

  • Our longitudinal analysis of gut microbiome dynamics showed that direct transitions between Bacteroides-dominated and Prevotella-dominated communities were rare, suggesting the presence of a barrier between these states
  • Understanding these sorts of temporal dynamics are important in the development of pharmaceutical and other interventions, such as supplements designed to modify the microbiome

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