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Aging Cell. 2020 Jan 22:e13105. doi: 10.1111/acel.13105. [Epub ahead of print]

Physical fitness in community-dwelling older adults is linked to dietary intake, gut microbiota, and metabolomic signatures.

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Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery M, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen NV, Denmark.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen N, Denmark.
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
Faculty of Industrial Science and Technology, Industrial Biotechnology Program, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Pahang, Malaysia.
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
Copenhagen Center for Health Research in the Humanities, The SAXO Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen SV, Denmark.
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.


When humans age, changes in body composition arise along with lifestyle-associated disorders influencing fitness and physical decline. Here we provide a comprehensive view of dietary intake, physical activity, gut microbiota (GM), and host metabolome in relation to physical fitness of 207 community-dwelling subjects aged +65 years. Stratification on anthropometric/body composition/physical performance measurements (ABPm) variables identified two phenotypes (high/low-fitness) clearly linked to dietary intake, physical activity, GM, and host metabolome patterns. Strikingly, despite a higher energy intake high-fitness subjects were characterized by leaner bodies and lower fasting proinsulin-C-peptide/blood glucose levels in a mechanism likely driven by higher dietary fiber intake, physical activity and increased abundance of Bifidobacteriales and Clostridiales species in GM and associated metabolites (i.e., enterolactone). These factors explained 50.1% of the individual variation in physical fitness. We propose that targeting dietary strategies for modulation of GM and host metabolome interactions may allow establishing therapeutic approaches to delay and possibly revert comorbidities of aging.


aging; energy and dietary fiber intake; gut microbiota; host metabolome; physical fitness; proinsulin-C-peptide

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