Differences in the gut microbiota between young and elderly persons in Korea.

Affiliation

Lee SY(1), Lee DY(1), Kang HJ(1), Kang JH(1), Cho MG(1), Jang HW(2), Kim BK(3), Hur SJ(4).
Author information:
(1)Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong 17546, Republic of Korea.
(2)Research Group of Food Processing, Korea Food Research Institute, Jeonbuk 55365, Republic of Korea; Department of Food Science & Biotechnology, sungshin women's university.
(3)Research Group of Food Processing, Korea Food Research Institute, Jeonbuk 55365, Republic of Korea.
(4)Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong 17546, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The gut microbiota differs among countries owing to the prevailing diet composition. For the characterization of the gut microbiota of Koreans at different ages in future studies, e.g., in an in vitro human digestion model, we tried to investigate whether the gut microbiota differs between the young and elderly in Korea. Two hundred fecal samples were collected: 100 from elderly people (over 65 years old) at geriatric nursing hospitals and 100 from young people (university students, 20-25 years old) in Gyeonggi province, Korea. The composition of the gut microbiota in these fecal samples was analyzed by next-generation sequencing methods. There were significant differences in the taxonomic composition of the microbiota (the top 10 most abundant taxa) between the young and elderly people in Korea, especially in terms of relative abundance levels of bacteria in phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Tenericutes, and Fusobacteria (P < 001). The gut microbiota of young people contained higher relative abundance of Lactobacillus than did the microbiota of elderly people, while the microbiota of elderly people manifested higher relative abundance of Escherichia. Even though the sample size may not be large enough for this study to be representative of the entire population of Korea, the study still provides data that are suggestive of differences in the gut microbiota between young and elderly people in Korea. Furthermore, our findings may be applied to develop an improved age-based in vitro model of digestion of Koreans for future research.