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Nat Commun. 2014 Apr 15;5:3654. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4654.

Gut microbiome of the Hadza hunter-gatherers.

Author information

  • 11] Plant Foods in Hominin Dietary Ecology Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany [2].
  • 21] Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, University of Bologna, Via Belmeloro 6, 40126 Bologna, Italy [2].
  • 3Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, University of Bologna, Via Belmeloro 6, 40126 Bologna, Italy.
  • 4Institute of Biomedical Technologies, Italian National Research Council, Via Fratelli Cervi 93, 20090 Segrate, Milan, Italy.
  • 5Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Selmi 3, Bologna 40126, Italy.
  • 6College of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, 35091 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  • 7Division of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK.
  • 8Plant Foods in Hominin Dietary Ecology Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
  • 9Metabolism, Anthropometry, and Nutrition Laboratory, Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-5003, USA.

Abstract

Human gut microbiota directly influences health and provides an extra means of adaptive potential to different lifestyles. To explore variation in gut microbiota and to understand how these bacteria may have co-evolved with humans, here we investigate the phylogenetic diversity and metabolite production of the gut microbiota from a community of human hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of Tanzania. We show that the Hadza have higher levels of microbial richness and biodiversity than Italian urban controls. Further comparisons with two rural farming African groups illustrate other features unique to Hadza that can be linked to a foraging lifestyle. These include absence of Bifidobacterium and differences in microbial composition between the sexes that probably reflect sexual division of labour. Furthermore, enrichment in Prevotella, Treponema and unclassified Bacteroidetes, as well as a peculiar arrangement of Clostridiales taxa, may enhance the Hadza's ability to digest and extract valuable nutrition from fibrous plant foods.

PMID:
24736369
PMCID:
PMC3996546
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4654
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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