Investigation of the Diet-Gut-Muscle Axis in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study

Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To investigate the association between dietary fiber density (grams of fiber consumed per 100 kcal) with the gut-muscle axis in older adult men. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) cohort participants at Visit 4 (2014–16). Participants: Older adult men (average age, 85y) from the MrOS study. Measurements: Men who were in the highest tertiles for dietary fiber density and the percentage of whole body lean mass were defined as T3T3 (n=42), whereas men who were in the lowest and intermediate tertiles for these variables were defined as T1T1 (n=32), T1T3 (n=24), and T3T1 (n=13), respectively. Additionally, measures of physical function, including the short physical performance battery (SPPB) score and grip strength were higher in T3T3 when compared with T1T1. Gut bacterial abundance was quantified with use of 16S v4 rRNA sequencing, and the bacterial functional potential was derived from the 16S data with PICRUSt. Chao1, ACE, Shannon, Simpson, and Fisher indices were used as measures of α-diversity. Weighted and unweighted Unifrac, and Bray-Curtis were used as measures of β-diversity. Age, physical activity score, smoking, and number of medications-adjusted DESeq2 models were used to identify bacteria and functions that were different when comparing T3T3 with T1T1, but that were not also different when comparing T3T3 with T1T3 or T3T1. Results: α-diversity was not different, but significant differences for β-diversity (unweighted UniFrac, Bray-Curtis) were identified when comparing T3T3 with T1T1. Known butyrate-producing bacteria, including Ruminococcus, Lachnospira, and Clostridia, and gene counts for butyrate production (KEGG IDs: K01034, K01035) were higher in T3T3, when compared with T1T1. Conclusion: These data suggest that a high-fiber diet may positively impact butyrate-producing genera and gene counts, which collectively may be involved in mechanisms related to the percentage of whole body lean mass and physical functioning in older adult men. Future studies aimed at testing the causative role of this hypothesis are of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by National Institute on Aging (K01AG050700) and Boston Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (5P30AG031679) grants to MSL, and a USDA grant (58-1950-4-003) to the NEPS laboratory at the Jean Mayer HNRCA at Tufts University. The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study is supported by National Institutes of Health funding. The following institutes provide support: the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research under the following grant numbers: U01 AG027810, U01 AG042124, U01 AG042139, U01 AG042140, U01 AG042143, U01 AG042145, U01 AG042168, U01 AR066160, and UL1 TR000128.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Serdi and Springer-Verlag International SAS, part of Springer Nature.


  • Older adults
  • dietary fiber
  • lean mass
  • microbiome
  • muscle strength
  • physical function

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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