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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Nov;20(11):2257-61. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.110. Epub 2012 May 1.

The microbiota of the gut in preschool children with normal and excessive body weight.

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Food Hygiene, Division of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to investigate the gut microbiota in preschool children with and without overweight and obesity. Twenty overweight or obese children and twenty children with BMI within the normal range (age: 4-5 years) were recruited from the south of Sweden. The gut microbiota was accessed by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and calprotectin was measured in feces. Liver enzymes were quantified in obese/overweight children. The concentration of the gram-negative family Enterobacteriaceae was significantly higher in the obese/overweight children (P = 0.036), whereas levels of Desulfovibrio and Akkermansia muciniphila-like bacteria were significantly lower in the obese/overweight children (P = 0.027 and P = 0.030, respectively). No significant differences were found in content of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium or the Bacteroides fragilis group. The diversity of the dominating bacterial community tended to be less diverse in the obese/overweight group, but the difference was not statistically significant. Concentration of Bifidobacterium was inversely correlated to alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in obese/overweight children. The fecal levels of calprotectin did not differ between the study groups. These findings indicate that the gut microbiota differed among preschool children with obesity/overweight compared with children with BMI within the normal range.

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