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Dietary Effects on the Human Microbiome



Hannah Holcher, PhD., Nutrition and Human Microbiome Lab,

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


March 2015 - October 2015

A growing body of literature supports the ability of specific foods and nutrients to influence the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota. However, there is a dearth of knowledge on the interplay of dietary components (e.g. foods and nutrients), gastrointestinal bacteria, and bacterial metabolites. Current analytical approaches limit investigation of these complex interrelations; therefore, further research utilizing modern statistical multivariate methods is needed.

The Visual Analytics Group helped Dr. Holcher's lab apply multivariate approaches that address P>>N, many features but few samples, to 1) validate results generated by prototype software with previously published results; and 2) identify novel associations among relevant dietary and bacterial features.

Findings revealed similar associations among diet, bacterial genera, and breath hydrogen measures to those observed by previously published results; thereby validating the use of these methods in diet-microbiome studies.

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