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Impact of daily consumption of whole-grain quinoa-enriched bread on gut microbiome in males

Lookup NU author(s): Liangkui Li, Dr David Houghton, Professor Georg Lietz, Dr Anthony Watson, Dr Christopher StewartORCiD, Wendy Bal, Emeritus Professor Chris SealORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Diets rich in whole grains are associated with improved health and a lower risk of noncommunicable diseases, but the mechanisms through which these health benefits are conveyed are uncertain. One mechanism may be improvements in the gut environment by the delivery of fermentable substrates and associated phytochemicals to the lower gut and modification of the gut microbiome. Quinoa is included in the whole-grain category because of its structural similarities tocereals but the effects of its consumption on the gut microbiome have not been investigated to date. Our aim was to examine the impact of daily quinoa consumption on the gut microbiome in a 4-week randomised cross-over intervention separated by a 4-week wash-out period involving 28 adult males. Participants consumed either a quinoa-enriched wheat-bread roll providing 20 g quinoa flour each day, or a control wheat-only bread roll. Stool samples were collected in sterile collection tubes immediately before and at the end of each intervention period. DNA was then extracted, and the 16S rRNA V4 region of extracted DNA was amplified and sequenced. For both the control and quinoa bread periods, there were no changes at the phyla or genus level between baseline and week 4 (all p > 0.05). Diversity in the microbiome profile was not different from baseline after either intervention arms. The results show that small changes in the type of cereal consumed—substituting 20 g of refined wheat flour with whole-grain quinoa flour—was not able to significantly modulate the gut microbiome. Further studies with higher levels of quinoa or longer exposure periods are needed to ascertain if there is a dose–response effect of quinoa, and if these effects are able to translate intoclinical outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li L, Houghton D, Lietz G, Watson A, Stewart CJ, Bal W, Seal CJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nutrients

Year: 2022

Volume: 14

Issue: 22

Pages: 4888

Online publication date: 18/11/2022

Acceptance date: 14/11/2022

Date deposited: 23/11/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2072-6643

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/nu14224888


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Funder referenceFunder name
203105/Z/16/ZWellcome Trust