Krznarić, Vranešić Bender, Meštrović (2019) The Mediterranean diet and its association with selected gut bacteria Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care 22(5) 401-406


Mediterranean diet is often viewed in the context of impact on composition of gut microbiota and its consequences on prevention and treatment of various diseases. It is known how complex carbohydrates present in this type of dietary pattern are fermented by healthy gut microbiota, producing in turn short-chained fatty acids with purported benefits for human health, whereas other mechanisms and interactions play a role as well. Recent research endeavors take a step further and demonstrate how exactly Mediterranean diet can affect the composition, activity, and diversity of intestinal microorganisms and their metabolomic profiles, and how these alterations can be linked to various chronic diseases. A change in the ratio of two dominant gut phyla (Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes) represents a hallmark feature of many diseases, which can be influenced by introducing dietary modifications. In addition, gut microbiota composition as a whole may serve as a marker of Mediterranean diet adherence. Increasing our knowledge and awareness of diet-microbiota interdependence may result in specific and targeted dietary approaches for microbial modulation and subsequent disease risk reduction, with Mediterranean diet serving as a blueprint for healthy eating.