Effects of dietary fiber intake on gut microbial diversity and the abundance of short-chain fatty acid producing and proteolytic bacteria in parkinson’s disease patients


  • Parsa Afrasiabi
  • Arshbir Aulakh
  • Nicholas deGoutiere University of British Columbia
  • Barinder Kaila


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than ten million people worldwide. Research shows that gut microbiome imbalances are a common feature of PD; specifically, a decrease in short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) producing microorganisms and an increase in proteolytic microorganisms. There are many studies that highlight the link between diet and the gut microbial population in healthy individuals. However, this link is unclear in Parkinson’s disease patients. Since diet is a significant factor affecting the gut microbiome, the aim of this study was to assess how fiber, a macronutrient, affects the gut microbial community in Parkinson’s disease patients. We performed an in silico analysis using gut microbiome sequences and associated dietary information to assess whether fiber affects the gut microbial diversity and the relative-abundance of SCFA-producing and proteolytic bacteria. We observed higher microbial diversity in Parkinson’s disease patients with higher fiber intake. In high and low fiber intake groups, we observed no difference in the relative abundance of SCFA-producing and proteolytic bacteria. These results suggest that fiber may not play a significant role in changing the SCFA-producing and proteolytic bacteria population in PD patients and may not be of great importance to affect the gut microbiome imbalances experienced by these patients.


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