Ulcerative Colitis Resource Center
Ulcerative Colitis Resource Center
August 12, 2014
1 min read

Intestinal microbiota altered by smoking cessation

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Smoking, and subsequent smoking cessation, appears to cause a shift in the makeup of intestinal microbiota, according to recent findings.

In the study, researchers evaluated healthy participants who wished to undertake a smoking cessation program over a period of 9 weeks. Two control groups consisting of nonsmokers and continuing smokers were also evaluated.

The participants were assessed through physical and psychological examinations, evaluation of compliance via carbon monoxide exhalation, and monitoring of body weight control and nutrition. Participants were seen for five study visits. Stool samples were collected at baseline, as well as 1, 4, and 8 weeks after smoking cessation. The samples were analyzed using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and researchers studied significant differences in the results of each stool sample collection.

The researchers found a significant change in the makeup of intestinal microbiota after smoking cessation, as indicated by an increase in key specimens of the following phyla: Firmicutes (Clostridium coccoides, Eubacterium rectale, and Clostridium leptum subgroup) and Actinobacteria (HGC bacteria and Bifidobacteria), along with a reduction in Bacteroidetes (Prevotella species and Bacteroides species) and Proteobacteria (beta- and gamma-subgroup of Proteobacteria).

According to the researchers, these microbiotic alterations are particularly interesting in their potential correlations with obesity, metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

“The observed microbial shifts may suggest interesting association to the described microbial alterations in obesity and the metabolic syndrome, as discussed in detail in our previous reports on the results of pyrosequencing, and moreover to the previous evidence from the literature regarding dysbiosis in IBD and the antithetic effect of smoking on [Crohn’s disease] compared with [ulcerative colitis].”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant disclosures.