Faecal microbiota of schoolchildren is associated with nutritional status and markers of inflammation: a double-blinded cluster-randomized controlled trial using multi-micronutrient fortified rice


Nat Commun. 2024 Jun 18;15(1):5204. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-49093-4.


Faecal microbiota plays a critical role in human health, but its relationship with nutritional status among schoolchildren remains under-explored. Here, in a double-blinded cluster-randomized controlled trial on 380 Cambodian schoolchildren, we characterize the impact of six months consumption of two types of rice fortified with different levels of vitamins and minerals on pre-specified outcomes. We investigate the association between the faecal microbiota (16SrRNA sequencing) and age, sex, nutritional status (underweight, stunting), micronutrient status (iron, zinc and vitamin A deficiencies, anaemia, iron deficient anaemia, hemoglobinopathy), inflammation (systemic, gut), and parasitic infection. We show that the faecal microbiota is characterised by a surprisingly high proportion of Lactobacillaceae. We discover that deficiencies in specific micronutrients, such as iron and vitamin A, correlate with particular microbiota profiles, whereas zinc deficiency shows no such association. The nutritional intervention with the two rice treatments impacts both the composition and functions predicted from compositional analysis in different ways. (ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT01706419)).

PMID:38890302 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-024-49093-4