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


Barrett HL, Gomez-Arango LF, Wilkinson SA, McIntyre HD, Callaway LK, Morrison M, Dekker Nitert M.

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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.