Exploratory analysis of one versus two-day intermittent fasting protocols on the gut microbiome and plasma metabolome in adults with overweight/obesity

Alex E. Mohr, Paniz Jasbi, Devin A. Bowes, Blake Dirks, Corrie M. Whisner, Karen M. Arciero, Michelle Poe, Haiwei Gu, Eric Gumpricht, Karen L. Sweazea, Paul J. Arciero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nutritional interventions are a promising therapeutic option for addressing obesity and cardiometabolic dysfunction. One such option, intermittent fasting (IF), has emerged as a viable alternative to daily caloric restriction and may beneficially modulate body weight regulation and alter the gut microbiome (GM) and plasma metabolome. This secondary analysis of a larger, registered trial (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT04327141) examined the effect of a four-week intervention comparing one vs. two-consecutive days of IF in combination with protein pacing (IF-P; 4-5 meals/day, >30% protein/day) on the GM, the plasma metabolome, and associated clinical outcomes in overweight and obese adults. Participants (n = 20) were randomly assigned to either a diet consisting of one fasting day (total of 36 h) and six low-calorie P days per week (IF1-P, n = 10) or two fasting days (60 h total) and five low-calorie P days per week (IF2-P, n = 10). The fecal microbiome, clinical outcomes, and plasma metabolome were analyzed at baseline (week 0) and after four weeks. There were no significant time or interaction effects for alpha diversity; however, baseline alpha diversity was negatively correlated with percent body fat change after the four-week intervention (p = 0.030). In addition, beta-diversity for both IF groups was altered significantly by time (p = 0.001), with no significant differences between groups. The IF1-P group had a significant increase in abundance of Ruminococcaceae Incertae Sedis and Eubacterium fissicatena group (q ≤ 0.007), while the IF2-P group had a significant increase in abundance of Ruminococcaceae Incertae Sedis and a decrease in Eubacterium ventriosum group (q ≤ 0.005). The plasma metabolite profile of IF2-P participants displayed significant increases in serine, trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), levulinic acid, 3-aminobutyric acid, citrate, isocitrate, and glucuronic acid (q ≤ 0.049) compared to IF1-P. Fecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations did not differ significantly by time or between groups (p ≥ 0.126). Interestingly, gastrointestinal symptoms were significantly reduced for the IF2-P group but not for the IF1-P group. Our results demonstrate that short-term IF modestly influenced the GM community structure and the plasma metabolome, suggesting these protocols could be viable for certain nutritional intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1036080
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 26 2022

Keywords

  • caloric restriction
  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • gut microbiome
  • intermittent fasting
  • metabolome
  • obesity
  • protein pacing
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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