Data from Gut microbiota signatures predict host and microbiota responses to dietary interventions in obese individuals

  • katri korpela (Creator)
  • Harry Flint (Creator)
  • Alexandra Johnstone (Creator)
  • Jenni Lappi (Creator)
  • Kaisa Poutanen (Creator)
  • Evelyne M Dewulf (Creator)
  • Nathalie Delzenne (Creator)
  • Willem M de Vos (Creator)
  • Anne Salonen (Creator)



Background: Interactions between the diet and intestinal microbiota play a role in health and disease, including obesity and related metabolic complications. There is great interest to use dietary means to manipulate the microbiota to promote health. Currently, the impact of dietary change on the microbiota and the host metabolism is poorly predictable and highly individual. We propose that the responsiveness of the gut microbiota may depend on its composition, and associate with metabolic changes in the host. Methodology: Our study involved three independent cohorts of obese adults (n = 78) from Belgium, Finland, and Britain, participating in different dietary interventions aiming to improve metabolic health. We used a phylogenetic microarray for comprehensive fecal microbiota analysis at baseline and after the intervention. Blood cholesterol, insulin and inflammation markers were analyzed as indicators of host response. The data were divided into four training set – test set pairs; each intervention acted both as a part of a training set and as an independent test set. We used linear models to predict the responsiveness of the microbiota and the host, and logistic regression to predict responder vs. non-responder status, or increase vs. decrease of the health parameters. Principal Findings: Our models, based on the abundance of several, mainly Firmicute species at baseline, predicted the responsiveness of the microbiota (AUC = 0.77–1; predicted vs. observed correlation = 0.67–0.88). Many of the predictive taxa showed a non-linear relationship with the responsiveness. The microbiota response associated with the change in serum cholesterol levels with an AUC of 0.96, highlighting the involvement of the intestinal microbiota in metabolic health. Conclusion: This proof-of-principle study introduces the first potential microbial biomarkers for dietary responsiveness in obese individuals with impaired metabolic health, and reveals the potential of microbiota signatures for personalized nutrition.

Data type

HITChip microarray data: The file contains phylogenetic microarray signal intensities for 1037 species and uncultured phylotypes, and for 130 genus-like group (≥ 90% sequence similarity in the 16S rRNA gene). More information about the phylogenetic design of the HITChip can be found at The data are extracted with using min/max normalisation and log-transformed (not subjected to between-study normalization; for details see the publication).

Copyright and Open Data Licencing

This work is licensed under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license.
Date made available3 Feb 2015
PublisherDryad Digital Repository
Geographical coverageBelgium, United Kingdom, and Finland


  • 16S rRNA
  • bacteria
  • Cholesterol
  • Clostridium felsineum
  • Clostridium sphenoides
  • CRP
  • Dietary intervention
  • Eubacterium ruminantium
  • insulin
  • Intestinal microbiota
  • Obesity

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