Age-Dependent Sexual Dimorphism in the Adult Human Gut Microbiota
49 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2019 Publication Status: Review CompleteMore...
Numerous studies have established the importance of the gut microbiota in human health. However, large-scale studies on the impact of sex and age on the gut microbiota are limited. Here we uncover unexpected age-related sex differences in the adult gut microbial composition and functionality in two large cohorts from China and the Netherlands. Compared to men, women harbor a more diverse and surprisingly stable microbiota with no robust changes associated with menopause. By contrast, men exhibit a more variable gut microbiota across broad age ranges, exhibiting strong correlations to age, testosterone levels, and multiple clinical parameters. Sex-associated differences between the gut microbiota are strongly correlated with lifestyle including smoking and alcohol intake. Interestingly, the marked sex-dependent differences between the gut microbiota in younger individuals diminish by age. Our findings provide a foundation for future studies on sex- and age-dependent effects on the impact of the gut microbiota on human health.
Keywords: Age, sex differences, the human adult gut microbiota
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