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Dietary variety relates to gut microbiota diversity and abundance in humans



We aim to investigate the relationship between gut microbiota and dietary variety in a Chinese population using Dietary Variety Score (DVS), an index of dietary variety, as little has studied the relationship of dietary variety and gut microbiota in a general population.


In this cross-sectional study, recruited participants were conducted with face-to-face interview to collect information on 24-h food intake and dietary consumption using a valid food frequency questionnaire. Subjects (n = 128) were divided as high and low DVS groups by the median of DVS after rigorously matching for confounding factors. The gut microbiota was assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing and the correlations between key phylotypes and DVS, Index of Nutritional Quality (INQ) and clinical indices were examined using generalized linear model in negative binomial regression.


Higher score of DVS, INQVB6, INQVE and INQZn exhibited higher α-diversity. DVS was correlated with INQ and six genera. Among the DVS-correlated genera, Turicibacter, Alistipes and Barnesiella were positively correlated with INQVE, INQZn and INQCu, individually or in combination, while Cetobacterium was negatively correlated with INQCu, INQZn and INQVE. The abundance of Coprococcus and Barnesiella increased with the elevated cumulative scores of INQVE, INQVB6 and INQZn. The combination of Alistipes, Roseburia and Barnesiella could moderately predict dietary variety status.


Higher DVS was correlated with higher microbial diversity and more abundance of some potentially beneficial bacteria but with less some potentially pathogenic bacteria. A high variety dietary, therefore, should be recommended in our daily life.

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Data availability

The data sets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on request.


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We think the nurses at the healthcare center of the Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University for sample collection.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 82060593, 81660540) and Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi Province (No. 2018GXNSFDA050019).

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Authors and Affiliations



RL and DL designed the research. XH, YG, WC, QH and XW conducted the field survey and analyzed the data. XH, YG and WC wrote the manuscript, and RL and ZH reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Dan Li or Rui Lin.

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The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Guangxi Medical University (No. 20200069).

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All participants signed the written informed consent before data collection.

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All the participants signed a written informed consent before data collection in the study.

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Huang, X., Gao, Y., Chen, W. et al. Dietary variety relates to gut microbiota diversity and abundance in humans. Eur J Nutr (2022).

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  • Dietary diversity
  • Dietary variety score
  • Index of nutritional quality
  • Gut microbiota
  • Cumulative effect