While evidence suggests that culinary herbs have the potential to modulate gut microbiota, much of the current research investigating the interactions between diet and the human gut microbiome either largely excludes culinary herbs or does not assess use in standard culinary settings. As such, the primary objective of this study was to evaluate how the frequency of culinary herb use is related to microbiome diversity and the abundance of certain taxa, measured at the phylum level. In this secondary data analysis of the INCLD Health cohort, we examined survey responses assessing frequency of culinary herb use and microbiome analysis of collected stool samples. We did not observe any associations between frequency of culinary herb use and Shannon Index, a measure of alpha diversity. Regarding the abundance of certain taxa, the frequency of use of polyphenol-rich herbs and herbs with certain quantities of antibacterial compounds was positively associated with Firmicutes abundance, and negatively associated with Proteobacteria abundance. Additionally, the total number of herbs used with high frequency, defined as over three times per week, was also positively associated with Firmicutes abundance, independent of adjustments, and negatively associated with Proteobacteria abundance, after adjusting for dietary factors. Frequency of culinary herb use was not associated with Bacteroidota or Actinobacteria abundance.
Publication - Journal Article Associations between Frequency of Culinary Herb Use and Gut Microbiota
Nutrients, vol. 14, iss. 9, pp. 1981, 2022
Alexandra Adorno Vita, Ryan McClure, Yuliya Farris, Robert Danczak, Anders Gundersen, Heather Zwickey, Ryan Bradley