Gut microbiota alterations associated with reduced bone mineral density in older adults
Keohane, David M.
Cormac, Edel M.
O'Toole, Paul W.
Molloy, Michael G.
British Society of Rheumatology
Objective: To investigate compositional differences in the gut microbiota associated with bone homeostasis and fractures in a cohort of older adults. Methods: Faecal microbiota profiles were determined from 181 individuals with osteopenia (n = 61) or osteoporosis (n = 60), and an age- and gender-matched group with normal BMD (n = 60). Analysis of the 16S (V3-V4 region) amplicon dataset classified to the genus level was used to identify significantly differentially abundant taxa. Adjustments were made for potential confounding variables identified from the literature using several statistical models. Results: We identified six genera that were significantly altered in abundance in the osteoporosis or osteopenic groups compared with age- and gender-matched controls. A detailed study of microbiota associations with meta-data variables that included BMI, health status, diet and medication revealed that these meta-data explained 15–17% of the variance within the microbiota dataset. BMD measurements were significantly associated with alterations in the microbiota. After controlling for known biological confounders, five of the six taxa remained significant. Overall microbiota alpha diversity did not correlate to BMD in this study. Conclusion: Reduced BMD in osteopenia and osteoporosis is associated with an altered microbiota. These alterations may be useful as biomarkers or therapeutic targets in individuals at high risk of reductions in BMD. These observations will lead to a better understanding of the relationship between the microbiota and bone homeostasis.
Osteoporosis , Gut microbiota , Bone mineral density , Elderly , Osteopenia
Das, M., Cronin, O., Keohane, D. M., Cormac, E. M., Nugent, H., Nugent, M., Molloy, C., O’Toole, P. W., Shanahan, F., Molloy, M. G. and Jeffery, I. B. (2019) 'Gut microbiota alterations associated with reduced bone mineral density in older adults', Rheumatology, kez302 (10pp) [In press]. DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kez302
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