Hot Paper in Biology

April 2015
“Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome,” by Lawrence A. David, et al., Nature, 505 (7484): 559, 23 January 2014.

Abstract: “Long-term dietary intake influences the structure and activity of the trillions of microorganisms residing in the human gut, but it remains unclear how rapidly and reproducibly the human gut microbiome responds to short-term macronutrient change. Here we show that the short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal or plant products alters microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression. The animal-based diet increased the abundance of bile-tolerant microorganisms (Alistipes, Bilophila and Bacteroides) and decreased the levels of Firmicutes that metabolize dietary plant polysaccharides (Roseburia, Eubacterium rectale and Ruminococcus bromii). Microbial activity mirrored differences between herbivorous and carnivorous mammals, reflecting trade-offs between carbohydrate and protein fermentation. Foodborne microbes from both diets transiently colonized the gut, including bacteria, fungi and even viruses. Finally, increases in the abundance and activity of Bilophila wadsworthia on the animal-based diet support a link between dietary fat, bile acids and the outgrowth of microorganisms capable of triggering inflammatory bowel disease. In concert, these results demonstrate that the gut microbiome can rapidly respond to altered diet, potentially facilitating the diversity of human dietary lifestyles.”

This 2014 report from Nature was cited 43 times in current journal articles indexed by Thomson Reuters during November-December 2014. During that two-month period, only one other Biology period indexed in the last two years, aside from reviews, recorded a higher number of citations. Prior to the most recent bimonthly count, citations to the report have accrued as follows, as tracked by Essential Science Indicators Hot Papers:

September-October 2014: 34 citations
July-August 2014: 20
May-June 2014: 15
March-April 2014: 6
January-February 2014:13

Total citations to date: 131

SOURCE: Thomson Reuters Web of Science

The data and citation records included in this report are from Thomson Reuters Web of ScienceTM. Web of ScienceTM is a registered trademark of Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.