- •This work represents the first study to correlate gut microbiota species with diet quality markers, using NOVA classification.
- •We found a different bacterial composition according to the preferential food group consumed: ultra-processed or unprocessed.
- •Higher ultra-processed food consumption was directly related to leptin resistance in woman.
Background and aims
High consumption of ultra-processed food (UPF) has been associated with increased risk of obesity and other metabolic diseases, and this dietary pattern seems to be responsible for chronic changes in the gut microbiota. The aim of this study was to assess the associations of UPF with the gut microbiota and obesity-associated biometrics in women.
Methods and results
This cross-sectional study examined 59 women. The following parameters were evaluated: food consumption using NOVA classification, anthropometric and metabolic parameters, and gut microbiome by next-generation sequencing. The mean age was 28.0 ± 6.6 years. The mean caloric intake was 1624 ± 531 kcal, of which unprocessed or minimally processed food (G1) accounted for 52.4 ± 13.5%, and UPF accounted for 31.4 ± 13.6%. Leptin levels adjusted for fat mass were negatively associated with G1 and positively associated with UPF. We found 15 species in the gut microbiota that correlated with G1 (3 positively and 12 negatively) and 9 species associated with UPF (5 positively and 4 negatively).
Higher consumption of UPF was directly associated with leptin resistance, and this study suggests that the consumption of UPF or G1 may affect the composition of the gut microbiota.
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Published online: October 10, 2022
Accepted: September 30, 2022
Received in revised form: September 28, 2022
Received: March 21, 2022Handling Editor: A. Siani
© 2022 The Italian Diabetes Society, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.