International Liver Congress
International Liver Congress
April 16, 2019
5 min watch

VIDEO: Plasma shows impact of Middle Eastern diet on microbiome

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VIENNA — In this exclusive video from the International Liver Congress 2019, Bajaj S. Jasmohan, MD, from the Virginia Commonwealth University and the McGuire VA Medical Center, discusses results from a study in which plasma metabolomics showed systemic differences in circulating lipid metabolites in people who followed a Middle Eastern diet vs. a standard Western Diet.

“In a prior study, we had found out that microbial diversity was much higher in people from Turkey, regardless of whether they had cirrhosis or not, compared to the U.S. population,” Bajaj told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “As we know, microbial presence and composition is just one part of how the gut microbiota affects the host. The gut microbiota can be affected by the diet, and ... their function can produce certain metabolites that can affect the host directly or indirectly.”

In the current study, Bajaj and colleagues compared 157 individuals from the U.S. with 139 individuals from Turkey, each cohort including patients with compensated or decompensated cirrhosis and healthy controls.

Individuals from the U.S. consumed a high-fat Western diet including a higher intake of coffee compared with Turkey, whereas individuals in Turkey consumed more tea, fermented milk and chocolate (P < .05 for all).

“What we found was difference in the plasma metabolites, and moreover, these plasma metabolites were also different in people who were hospitalized or not,” Bajaj said. “We believe this is a very fertile area of investigation because we need to expand our horizons of microbial research beyond just Western societies into people who take different dietary and cultural practices to get a fuller understanding of the microbial dietary interactions, especially in chronic diseases such as cirrhosis.”

Reference: Bajaj JS. PS-082. Presented at: International Liver Congress; April 10-14, 2019; Vienna, Austria.

Disclosure: Bajaj reports no relevant financial disclosures.