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International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview 8 September 2017; doi: 10.1038/ijo.2017.220

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Pre-treatment microbial Prevotella-to-Bacteroides ratio, determines body fat loss success during a 6-month randomized controlled diet intervention

M F Hjorth1, H M Roager2, T M Larsen1, S K Poulsen1,3, T R Licht2, M I Bahl2, Y Zohar4 and A Astrup1

  1. 1Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark
  2. 2National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
  3. 3Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Gentofte, Denmark
  4. 4Gelesis Inc., Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence: MF Hjorth, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 26, Frederiksberg 1958, Denmark. E-mail:

Received 23 June 2017; Revised 4 August 2017; Accepted 22 August 2017
Accepted article preview online 8 September 2017



Based on the abundance of specific bacterial genera, the human gut microbiota can be divided into two relatively stable groups that might play a role in personalized nutrition. We studied these simplified enterotypes as prognostic markers for successful body fat loss on two different diets. A total of 62 participants with increased waist circumference were randomly assigned to receive an ad libitum New Nordic Diet (NND) high in fiber/wholegrain or an Average Danish Diet (ADD) for 26 weeks. Participants were grouped into two discrete enterotypes by their relative abundance of Prevotella spp. divided by Bacteroides spp. (P/B ratio) obtained by quantitative PCR analysis. Modifications of dietary effects of pre-treatment P/B group were examined by linear mixed models. Among individuals with high P/B the NND resulted in a 3.15kg (95%CI 1.55;4.76, P<0.001) larger body fat loss compared to ADD whereas no differences was observed among individuals with low P/B (0.88kg [95% CI −0.61;2.37, P=0.25]). Consequently, a 2.27kg (95%CI 0.09;4.45, P=0.041) difference in responsiveness to the diets were found between the two groups. In summary, subjects with high P/B-ratio appeared more susceptible to lose body fat on diets high in fiber and wholegrain than subjects with a low P/B-ratio.

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