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Open AccessArticle

A Vegetarian Diet Is a Major Determinant of Gut Microbiota Composition in Early Pregnancy

Department of Endocrinology, Mater Health, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
Mater Research Institute, University of Queensland, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Department of Dietetics and Foodservices, Mater Health, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
Department of Obstetric Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston, QLD 4059, Australia
The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Faculty of Medicine, Herston, QLD 4059, Australia
Diamantina Institute, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, Woolloongabba, QLD 4102, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 890;
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Requirements and Dietary Intakes of Women during Pregnancy)
The composition of the gut microbiota can be influenced by dietary composition. In pregnancy, the maternal gut microbiome has associations with maternal and infant metabolic status. There is little known regarding the impact of a vegetarian diet in pregnancy on maternal gut microbiota. This study explored the gut microbiota profile in women who were vegetarian or omnivorous in early gestation. Women were selected from participants in the Study of PRobiotics IN Gestational diabetes (SPRING) randomised controlled trial. Nine women identified as vegetarians were matched to omnivorous women in a 1:2 ratio. Microbiota analyses were performed using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and analysed using the Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME) and Calypso software tools. There was no difference in alpha diversity, but beta diversity was slightly reduced in vegetarians. There were differences seen in the relative abundance of several genera in those on a vegetarian diet, specifically a reduction in Collinsella, Holdemania, and increases in the relative abundances of Roseburia and Lachnospiraceae. In this sub-analysis of gut microbiota from women in early pregnancy, a vegetarian as compared to omnivorous diet, was associated with a different gut microbiome, with features suggesting alterations in fermentation end products from a mixed acid fermentation towards more acetate/butyrate. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbiota; pregnancy; vegetarian microbiota; pregnancy; vegetarian
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Barrett, H.L.; Gomez-Arango, L.F.; Wilkinson, S.A.; McIntyre, H.D.; Callaway, L.K.; Morrison, M.; Dekker Nitert, M. A Vegetarian Diet Is a Major Determinant of Gut Microbiota Composition in Early Pregnancy. Nutrients 2018, 10, 890.

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