Weight loss response following lifestyle intervention associated with baseline gut metagenomic signature in humans

January 5, 2021

We report a weight-loss response analysis on a small cohort of individuals (N= 25) selected from a larger population (N~ 5,000) enrolled in a commercial scientific wellness program, which included healthy lifestyle coaching. Each individual had baseline data on blood metabolomics, blood proteomics, clinical labs, lifestyle questionnaires, and stool metagenomes. A subset of these participants (N= 15) lost at least 10% of their body weight within a 6-12 month period and saw significant improvement in metabolic health markers (‘weight loss’ group), while another subset of individuals (N= 10) undergoing the same lifestyle intervention showed no change in BMI over the same timeframe (‘no weight loss’ group). Only a single baseline blood analyte, a metabolite linked to fried food consumption, was (negatively) associated with weight loss, but a large number of baseline stool metagenomic features, including complex polysaccharide and protein degradation genes, stress-response genes, respiration-related genes, cell wall synthesis genes, and gut bacterial replication rates, were significantly associated with weight loss after explicitly controlling for baseline BMI. Together, these results provide a set of baseline gut microbiome functional features that are associated with weight loss outcomes.