Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers

Emmanuelle Le Chatelier, Trine Nielsen, Junjie Qin, Edi Prifti, Falk Hildebrand, Gwen Falony, Mathieu Almeida, Manimozhiyan Arumugam, Jean Michel Batto, Sean Kennedy, Pierre Leonard, Junhua Li, Kristoffer Burgdorf, Niels Grarup, Torben Jørgensen, Ivan Brandslund, Henrik Bjørn Nielsen, Agnieszka S. Juncker, Marcelo Bertalan, Florence LevenezNicolas Pons, Simon Rasmussen, Shinichi Sunagawa, Julien Tap, Sebastian Tims, Erwin G. Zoetendal, Søren Brunak, Karine Clément, Joël Doré, Michiel Kleerebezem, Karsten Kristiansen, Pierre Renault, Thomas Sicheritz-Ponten, Willem M. De Vos, Jean Daniel Zucker, Jeroen Raes, Torben Hansen, Peer Bork, Jun Wang, S. Dusko Ehrlich, Oluf Pedersen, Eric Guedon, Christine Delorme, Séverine Layec, Ghalia Khaci, Maarten Van De Guchte, Gaetana Vandemeulebrouck, Alexandre Jamet, Rozenn Dervyn, Nicolas Sanchez, Emmanuelle Maguin, Florence Haimet, Yohanan Winogradski, Antonella Cultrone, Marion Leclerc, Catherine Juste, Hervé Blottière, Eric Pelletier, Denis Lepaslier, François Artiguenave, Thomas Bruls, Jean Weissenbach, Keith Turner, Julian Parkhill, Maria Antolin, Chaysavanh Manichanh, Francesc Casellas, Natalia Boruel, Encarna Varela, Antonio Torrejon, Francisco Guarner, Gérard Denariaz, Muriel Derrien, Johan E T Van Hylckama Vlieg, Patrick Veiga, Raish Oozeer, Jan Knol, Maria Rescigno, Christian Brechot, Christine M'Rini, Alexandre Mérieux, Takuji Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We are facing a global metabolic health crisis provoked by an obesity epidemic. Here we report the human gut microbial composition in a population sample of 123 non-obese and 169 obese Danish individuals. We find two groups of individuals that differ by the number of gut microbial genes and thus gut bacterial richness. They contain known and previously unknown bacterial species at different proportions; individuals with a low bacterial richness (23% of the population) are characterized by more marked overall adiposity, insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia and a more pronounced inflammatory phenotype when compared with high bacterial richness individuals. The obese individuals among the lower bacterial richness group also gain more weight over time. Only a few bacterial species are sufficient to distinguish between individuals with high and low bacterial richness, and even between lean and obese participants. Our classifications based on variation in the gut microbiome identify subsets of individuals in the general white adult population who may be at increased risk of progressing to adiposity-associated co-morbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
Issue number7464
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    Le Chatelier, E., Nielsen, T., Qin, J., Prifti, E., Hildebrand, F., Falony, G., Almeida, M., Arumugam, M., Batto, J. M., Kennedy, S., Leonard, P., Li, J., Burgdorf, K., Grarup, N., Jørgensen, T., Brandslund, I., Nielsen, H. B., Juncker, A. S., Bertalan, M., ... Yamada, T. (2013). Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers. Nature, 500(7464), 541-546.