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Faecal bacterial and short-chain fatty acids signature in hypercholesterolemia

Abstract 

Gut microbiota has been suggested to affect lipid metabolism. The objective of this study was to characterize the faecal microbiota signature and both short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and bile acids (BA) profile of hypercholesterolemic subjects. Microbiota composition, SCFAs, BA and blood lipid profile from male volunteers with hypercholesterolemia (HC) and normocholesterolemia (NC) were determined by 16S rDNA sequencing, HPLC, GC and NMR, respectively. HC subjects were characterized by having lower relative abundance of Anaeroplasma (0.002% vs 0.219%, p-value = 0.026) and Haemophilus (0.041% vs 0.078%, p-value = 0.049), and higher of Odoribacter (0.51% vs 0.16%; p-value = 0.044). Correlation analysis revealed that Anaeroplasma and Haemophilus were associated to an unfavourable lipid profile: they correlated negatively to cholesterol and triglycerides related biomarkers and the ratio total to high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and positively to HDL size. Odoribacter displayed an opposite behaviour. Faecal SCFAs profile revealed higher abundance of isobutyric (2.76% vs 0.82%, p-value = 0.049) and isovaleric acid (1.32% vs 0.06%, p-value = 0.016) in HC. Isobutyric acid correlated positively with Odoribacter and lipid parameters indicative of an unfavourable profile. BA profile did not show differences between groups. It was concluded that HC subjects showed a particular faecal bacterial signature and SCFAs profile associated with their lipid profile.