Cranberries Attenuate Animal-Based Diet-Induced Changes in Microbiota Composition and Functionality: a Randomized Crossover Controlled Feeding Trial.
Cranberries have multiple health effects but their impact on gut microbiota has not been examined in randomized controlled feeding trials. We evaluated the relationship between the microbiota and cranberries in the context of an animal-based diet. In a randomized, double-blind, cross-over, controlled design trial, 11 healthy adults consumed for 5 days each a control diet (animal-based diet plus 30 g/day placebo powder) and a cranberry diet (animal-based diet plus 30 g/day freeze-dried whole cranberry powder). The animal-based diet included meats, dairy products, and simple sugars. Stool, urine, and blood samples were obtained before and after each intervention phase. As compared to the pre-control diet, control diet modified 46 taxonomic clades, including an increase in the abundance of Firmicutes and decrease in Bacteroidetes. Moreover, it increased bacteria-derived deoxycholic acid and decreased acetate and butyrate in stool. As compared to the post-intervention phase of control diet, the cranberry diet modified 9 taxonomic clades, including a decrease in the abundance of Firmicutes and increase in Bacteroidetes. Further, the cranberry diet attenuated control diet-induced increase in secondary bile acids and decrease in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), and increased urinary anthocyanins and bacterially derived phenolic acids. No changes were found in fecal trimethylamine and plasma cytokines. In conclusion, an animal-based diet altered the microbiota composition to a less favorable profile, increased carcinogenic bile acids, and decreased beneficial SCFA. Cranberries attenuated the impact of the animal-based diet on microbiota composition, bile acids, and SCFA, evidencing their capacity to modulate the gut microbiota.