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      Potential Role for the Gut Microbiota in Modulating Host Circadian Rhythms and Metabolic Health

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          Abstract

          This article reviews the current evidence associating gut microbiota with factors that impact host circadian-metabolic axis, such as light/dark cycles, sleep/wake cycles, diet, and eating patterns. We examine how gut bacteria possess their own daily rhythmicity in terms of composition, their localization to intestinal niches, and functions. We review evidence that gut bacteria modulate host rhythms via microbial metabolites such as butyrate, polyphenolic derivatives, vitamins, and amines. Lifestyle stressors such as altered sleep and eating patterns that may disturb the host circadian system also influence the gut microbiome. The consequent disruptions to microbiota-mediated functions such as decreased conjugation of bile acids or increased production of hydrogen sulfide and the resultant decreased production of butyrate, in turn affect substrate oxidation and energy regulation in the host. Thus, disturbances in microbiome rhythms may at least partially contribute to an increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome associated with insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment. Good sleep and a healthy diet appear to be essential for maintaining gut microbial balance. Manipulating daily rhythms of gut microbial abundance and activity may therefore hold promise for a chrononutrition-based approach to consolidate host circadian rhythms and metabolic homeorhesis.

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          Most cited references108

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          Structure, Function and Diversity of the Healthy Human Microbiome

          Studies of the human microbiome have revealed that even healthy individuals differ remarkably in the microbes that occupy habitats such as the gut, skin, and vagina. Much of this diversity remains unexplained, although diet, environment, host genetics, and early microbial exposure have all been implicated. Accordingly, to characterize the ecology of human-associated microbial communities, the Human Microbiome Project has analyzed the largest cohort and set of distinct, clinically relevant body habitats to date. We found the diversity and abundance of each habitat’s signature microbes to vary widely even among healthy subjects, with strong niche specialization both within and among individuals. The project encountered an estimated 81–99% of the genera, enzyme families, and community configurations occupied by the healthy Western microbiome. Metagenomic carriage of metabolic pathways was stable among individuals despite variation in community structure, and ethnic/racial background proved to be one of the strongest associations of both pathways and microbes with clinical metadata. These results thus delineate the range of structural and functional configurations normal in the microbial communities of a healthy population, enabling future characterization of the epidemiology, ecology, and translational applications of the human microbiome.
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            Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome

            Long-term diet influences the structure and activity of the trillions of microorganisms residing in the human gut 1–5 , but it remains unclear how rapidly and reproducibly the human gut microbiome responds to short-term macronutrient change. Here, we show that the short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal or plant products alters microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression. The animal-based diet increased the abundance of bile-tolerant microorganisms (Alistipes, Bilophila, and Bacteroides) and decreased the levels of Firmicutes that metabolize dietary plant polysaccharides (Roseburia, Eubacterium rectale, and Ruminococcus bromii). Microbial activity mirrored differences between herbivorous and carnivorous mammals 2 , reflecting trade-offs between carbohydrate and protein fermentation. Foodborne microbes from both diets transiently colonized the gut, including bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. Finally, increases in the abundance and activity of Bilophila wadsworthia on the animal-based diet support a link between dietary fat, bile acids, and the outgrowth of microorganisms capable of triggering inflammatory bowel disease 6 . In concert, these results demonstrate that the gut microbiome can rapidly respond to altered diet, potentially facilitating the diversity of human dietary lifestyles.
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              A core gut microbiome in obese and lean twins

              The human distal gut harbors a vast ensemble of microbes (the microbiota) that provide us with important metabolic capabilities, including the ability to extract energy from otherwise indigestible dietary polysaccharides1–6. Studies of a small number of unrelated, healthy adults have revealed substantial diversity in their gut communities, as measured by sequencing 16S rRNA genes6–8, yet how this diversity relates to function and to the rest of the genes in the collective genomes of the microbiota (the gut microbiome) remains obscure. Studies of lean and obese mice suggest that the gut microbiota affects energy balance by influencing the efficiency of calorie harvest from the diet, and how this harvested energy is utilized and stored3–5. To address the question of how host genotype, environmental exposures, and host adiposity influence the gut microbiome, we have characterized the fecal microbial communities of adult female monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs concordant for leanness or obesity, and their mothers. Analysis of 154 individuals yielded 9,920 near full-length and 1,937,461 partial bacterial 16S rRNA sequences, plus 2.14 gigabases from their microbiomes. The results reveal that the human gut microbiome is shared among family members, but that each person’s gut microbial community varies in the specific bacterial lineages present, with a comparable degree of co-variation between adult monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs. However, there was a wide array of shared microbial genes among sampled individuals, comprising an extensive, identifiable ‘core microbiome’ at the gene, rather than at the organismal lineage level. Obesity is associated with phylum-level changes in the microbiota, reduced bacterial diversity, and altered representation of bacterial genes and metabolic pathways. These results demonstrate that a diversity of organismal assemblages can nonetheless yield a core microbiome at a functional level, and that deviations from this core are associated with different physiologic states (obese versus lean).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Microorganisms
                Microorganisms
                microorganisms
                Microorganisms
                MDPI
                2076-2607
                31 January 2019
                February 2019
                : 7
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Private Bag 11600, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
                [2 ]Department of Hypothalamic Integration Mechanisms, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Meibergdreef 47, 1105BA Amsterdam, The Netherlands; a.kalsbeek@ 123456nin.knaw.nl
                [3 ]Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [4 ]Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; j.cheeseman@ 123456auckland.ac.nz
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: shanthi.parkar@ 123456plantandfood.co.nz ; Tel.: +64-6-9537-737, Fax: +64-6-3517-050
                Article
                microorganisms-07-00041
                10.3390/microorganisms7020041
                6406615
                30709031
                5b300657-85c1-488e-8b22-9c334710ba55
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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