Gut microbiota composition correlates with diet and health in the elderly

Thumbnail Image
Claesson, Marcus J.
Jeffery, Ian B.
Conde, Susana
Power, Susan E.
O'Connor, Eibhlí­s M.
Cusack, Siobhán
Harris, Hugh M. B.
Coakley, Mairead
Lakshminarayanan, Bhuvaneswari
O'Sullivan, Orla
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Macmillan Publishers Limited
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Alterations in intestinal microbiota composition are associated with several chronic conditions, including obesity and inflammatory diseases. The microbiota of older people displays greater inter-individual variation than that of younger adults. Here we show that the faecal microbiota composition from 178 elderly subjects formed groups, correlating with residence location in the community, day-hospital, rehabilitation or in long-term residential care. However, clustering of subjects by diet separated them by the same residence location and microbiota groupings. The separation of microbiota composition significantly correlated with measures of frailty, co-morbidity, nutritional status, markers of inflammation and with metabolites in faecal water. The individual microbiota of people in long-stay care was significantly less diverse than that of community dwellers. Loss of community-associated microbiota correlated with increased frailty. Collectively, the data support a relationship between diet, microbiota and health status, and indicate a role for diet-driven microbiota alterations in varying rates of health decline upon ageing.
Fecal microbiota , Phylogenetic microarray , Sequences , Regression , Intestine , Taxonomy , Disease , Index , Age
Claesson, M. J., Jeffery, I. B., Conde, S., Power, S. E., O’Connor, E. M., Cusack, S., Harris, H. M. B., Coakley, M., Lakshminarayanan, B., O’Sullivan, O., Fitzgerald, G. F., Deane, J., O’Connor, M., Harnedy, N., O’Connor, K., O’Mahony, D., van Sinderen, D., Wallace, M., Brennan, L., Stanton, C., Marchesi, J. R., Fitzgerald, A. P., Shanahan, F., Hill, C., Ross, R. P. and O’Toole, P. W. (2012) ‘Gut microbiota composition correlates with diet and health in the elderly’, Nature, 488, pp. 178–184. doi: 10.1038/nature11319
Link to publisher’s version
© 2012, Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Nature. The final authenticated version is available online at: