Researchers assessed functional links between the microbiome and the plasma metabolome, cardiometabolic phenotypes and CVD risk.

Kurilshikov et al. studied 1,275 individuals from the Lifelines-DEEP cohort (n=978) and a clinical obesity cohort (n=297) by combining metabolomics, metagenomics and phenotyping. They discovered that gut microbiome impacts the level of certain lipoprotein subclasses, fatty acids, amino acids and inflammation marker GlycA in blood. Gut microbiome explained up to 11.1% and 16.4% of the variation in plasma metabolites in the population-based and obesity cohorts, respectively.

Integration of microbiome-diet-inflammation analysis in relation to metabolic risk score of CVD in the population cohort revealed 48 microbial pathways associated to CVD risk that were largely independent of diet and inflammation.

The data also showed that plasma levels rather than fecal levels of short chain fatty acids were relevant to inflammation and CVD risk.