Gut microbial composition depends on different dietary habits just as health depends on microbial metabolism, but the association of microbiota with different diets in human populations has not yet been shown.
Significant differences were found in gut microbiota between European children (EU) and that of children from a rural African village of Burkina Faso, , where the diet is high in fiber content, and is similar to that of early human settlements at the time of the birth of agriculture.
Burkina Faso children showed a significant enrichment in Bacteroidetes and depletion in Firmicutes, and a unique abundance of bacteria from the genus Prevotella and Xylanibacter, completely lacking in the EU children. Enterobacteriaceae (Shigella and Escherichia) were significantly underrepresented in Burkina Faso children.
In addition, we found significantly more short-chain fatty acids in Burkina Faso children.
Gut microbiota might have coevolved with the polysaccharide-rich diet, allowing to maximize energy intake from fibers while also protecting from inflammations and noninfectious colonic diseases.