Preliminary Characterization of the American Gut Population

If you have been following American Gut Project, you might be interested in the PDF we just released (see below) of a “top level” summary of the first ~1,000 people who gave it up for science.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 3.51.14 AMWe have, as of September 5, 2013, completed sequencing and quality control of the gut bacteria from the first 1080 samples from 844 participants in the American Gut study. While we are working hard on priority #1 – providing your individual results back to you as soon as possible – we thought a quick look at some of the population level data would be interesting.

This document (CLICK HERE for PDF) gives a first look at results for the whole population. Your individual results (if your sample is among these first 1080 samples) will be available shortly.



17 Comments Add yours

  1. ig11 says:

    Jeff, are you in a position to comment (even preliminarily) on differences between paleo and lc paleo (if any)?

    Also, what the particular diets / circumstances where of the outliers mentioned (over 90% fermicutes and less than 1%)?

    1. Jeff Leach says:

      too early 2 tell. sample size is too small. we should have a few more thousand samples sequenced in the coming months and the paleo / lcPaleo sample size will hopefully increase – so stay tuned.

      1. Claire says:

        This is fascinating stuff!! Thanks for sharing

  2. Tim says:

    Could you discuss a bit about the Fig 5 fecal graph? Why are you further to the left than ‘Pollan pre’? Could one get much further left than you?

    1. Jeff Leach says:

      Good Q. I eat lots of dietary fiber from a lot of sources. I also eat lots of cellulose – ie, the parts of the plants that many folks discard. So, my higher levels of Firmicutes is being driven by lots and lots of ruminococcus – that is, I look like grazing animals (eg, white rhino!). Pollan has tons and tons of Prevotella – which are part of the Bacteroidetes phylum. Note also, there was data years ago that indicated a high level of Firmicutes was predictive of obesity – that is, more Firmicutes, more junk in the trunk. This has not held up as more data comes in. Me for example, BMI of 25.

      1. Aud says:

        I have BMI of 18 have always been fit ( ish) and skinny woman but have 75% firmicutes….? Decent diet of loads veg and nuts modest red meat, mod fish

  3. Interesting… just got my results back… Unusual very sig spike in Actinobacteria compared to all groups 🙂 And some Staph as well… hmm .

    1. Tatertot Tim says:

      Howard – Perfect timing. This young lady just posted her AmGut results and compared to mine–world of difference.

      We – similar diets
      She – lots of antibiotics
      Me – no antibiotics for 10+ years, and megadosing with resistant starch.

      My result showed I had 11X the number of bifidobacteria of anyone else–that is amazing when you think about it. All my other phyla/species were in line with a well-diversified gut microbiome. Laura’s showed very restricted growth, hardly any diversity at all.

      I’d like to see if ANYONE anywhere has more bifido than I do, resistant starch is a proven builder of friendly gut bugs.

      Have a look:

  4. katie says:

    would love to see gut results for normal vs. IBD people

  5. I dont buy all of this yet… starch etc..I had IBD Crohns…Ive done my own experiment now for two years..Eating low sugar.. PALEO / low starch veggies.. for me diease is now gone….this study is great but doesnt look at the role of yeast/fungus.. for me in many studies and tests I tracked the cause of my gluten intolerance and crohns to CANDIDA yeast… lowering my yeast was key…then raising my Akkermansia bacteria. so I dont buy it..I feel great , no sinus problems , health is perfect right now.. low LDL-P insulin resistance is low. from my findings yeast as in bakers brewers yeast or candida eat the starch…. milk , grains and sugars.. robbing the good bacteria … Many now Im under control.. and have 3x times the normal person Akkermansia bacteria , gluten now does not bug me… many miss to learn the protein in yeast looks like the protein in candida…. which I think is the root to health problems…. fix the yeast , you fix and grow the bacteria… which eats the starch…

  6. Becky says:

    Are you studying Crohn’s disease? Specifically those individuals who had parts of there intestine removed, or have an illeostomy?

    1. Jeff Leach says:

      if they sign up… and yes, we have lots of folks with crohns in the study.

  7. Elena says:

    Interesting for sure. I wonder how levels of D throughout the year affect microbiome type/numbers?

  8. Trudy says:

    It’s been a year and a half since the original post. Any updates?

  9. Hi, I am wondering about post chemotherapy patients, what happens to their microbiome after chemo and long term after chemo. I think this could be very useful since their microbiome was probably returned to an infantile state and how does it recolonize. Furthermore do these patients need a microbiome cocktail to recolonize their systems?

    1. Denis says:

      Hi Maryann, I had the same question. I’m in the middle of a heavy chemo treatment and my guts have been giving distress signs. I am assuming my biome is shot and would love to have info on how to recolonize. Has anyone else commented? Hope you are doing well if this was personal.

  10. Fidel says:

    Am i reading the pdf correctly in seeing photosynthetic cyanobacteria showing up in significant numbers on human skin? Is cyanobacteria a misprint for Corynebacterium described at ?

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