The effects of alcohol consumption and increased body mass on the gut microbiota of Parkinson’s Disease patients
Parkinson’s disease, alcohol abuse, and obesity are all associated with changes in the gut microbiome composition and are among common health issues in the elderly. Lower levels of butyrate-producing bacteria, which may be linked to disease pathophysiology, have been identified in Parkinson’s patients and individuals dependent on alcohol. Parkinson’s patients may also have altered abundances of the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, and individuals of higher body mass have been reported to have an increased Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio. Through bioinformatics analysis, our study explored the impact of alcohol consumption and body mass on Parkinson’s, specifically focused on the gut microbiota. Beta diversity metrics suggested no direct relationship between alcohol consumption or body mass with gut microbiome composition. While alcohol consumption did not impact the relative abundance of butyrate-producing genera, the relative abundance of three anti-inflammatory genera were significantly lower in Parkinson’s groups, proposing possible risk-reducing roles of these genera. An elevated Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio was not seen with increased body weight in Parkinson’s patients, suggesting it to be an unsuitable obesity biomarker. However, the family Veillonellaceae, producers of a metabolite previously associated with Parkinson’s and obesity, was more abundant in overweight Parkinson’s patients. This study elucidated taxa relevant to further investigation that may be important in the interplay between Parkinson’s disease, alcohol abuse, and obesity.