Close social relationships correlate with human gut microbiota composition.

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PubMed ID: 30679677

Imagen Publicación

Dill-McFarland KA, Tang ZZ, Kemis JH, Kerby RL, Chen G, Palloni A, Sorenson T, Rey FE, Herd P

Sci Rep. Jan 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37298-9

COMMENT: Diet, gender and high blood sugar  have been correlated with different gut microbiota profiles.. However, there is not much information about how social relationships could impact in both, microbiota and health. Based on the results obtained by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the authors suggest that human close  interactions, especially marital relationships, influence the gut microbiota


The aim of this study was to investigate the links between human interaction, the microbiota, and human health. For that, they analyzed 408 fecal samples from older individuals (58 to 91 years old from Wisconsin) and correlate them with health and behavior. 

Main results:

We found that individuals that were cohabitating with a spouse or partner had more similar microbiota composition with their cohabitating spouse/partner as well as higher diversity and richness than unmarried, non-cohabitating individuals.

Close marriage relationships had a stronger influence than the shared genetic factors and early life environments among siblings, is interesting, in part, because it parallels an extensive body of evidence demonstrating robust links between high-quality marriages and morbidity and mortality. 


To sum up, differences in the gut microbiome could be influenced by socialness with family and friend, especially close marital relationships, although as this is the first study of its kind, it will be necessary to validate those findings.


Carmen Martín