The effects of fermented vegetable consumption on the composition of the intestinal microbiota and levels of inflammatory markers in women: A pilot and feasibility study

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Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Biomarkers; C-Reactive Protein; Feasibility Studies; Female; Fruit; Gastrointestinal Microbiome; Humans; Lipopolysaccharides; Middle Aged; Pilot Projects; RNA, Ribosomal, 16S; Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha; Vegetables; Young Adult


The primary objective of this pilot study was to investigate the feasibility of regular consumption of fermented vegetables for six weeks on markers of inflammation and the composition of the gut microflora in women (clinical trials ID: NTC03407794). Thirty-one women were randomized into one of three groups: 100 g/day of fermented vegetables (group A), 100 g/day pickled vegetables (group B), or no vegetables (group C) for six weeks. Dietary intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire and blood and stool samples were provided before and after the intervention for measurement of C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP). Next-generation sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was performed on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Participants' ages ranged between 18 and 69 years. Both groups A and B had a mean daily consumption of 91g of vegetables for 32 and 36 days, respectively. Serum CRP ranged between 0.9 and 265 ng/mL (SD = 92.4) at baseline, while TNF-α and LBP concentrations ranged between 0 and 9 pg/mL (SD = 2.3), and 7 and 29 μg/mL (SD = 4.4), respectively. There were no significant changes in levels of inflammatory markers among groups. At timepoint 2, group A showed an increase in Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (P = 0.022), a decrease in Ruminococcus torques (P<0.05), and a trend towards greater alpha diversity measured by the Shannon index (P = 0.074). The findings indicate that consumption of ~100 g/day of fermented vegetables for six weeks is feasible and may result in beneficial changes in the composition of the gut microbiota. Future trials should determine whether consumption of fermented vegetables is an effective strategy against gut dysbiosis.

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PloS one





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