Crop, Host, and Gut Microbiome Variation Influence Precision Nutrition: An Example of Blueberries

Connie M. Weaver, Mario G. Ferruzzi, Maria Maiz, Dennis P. Cladis, Cindy H. Nakatsu, George P. McCabe, Mary Ann Lila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epidemiological studies have shown associations between polyphenol-rich fruit intake and bone health, and preclinical studies have shown that blueberries improve bone health. To determine the genotype and dose of blueberries that are effective in ameliorating age-related bone loss, a multi-institutional team of investigators performed in vitro, preclinical, and clinical studies on blueberry varieties that differed in flavonoid profiles. Principal component analysis was used to select blueberry genotypes that varied in anthocyanin profiles. Total phenolic content did not predict the bioavailability of polyphenolic compounds in rats. A range in bioavailability was observed in individual polyphenolic compounds across genotypes. Both alpha and beta diversity analyses indicated that gut microbiome profiles varied with blueberry dose in rats. Additionally, the identification of specific taxa, such as Prevotellaceae_UCG-001 and Coriobacteriales, increasing after blueberry consumption adds to the mounting evidence of their role in polyphenol metabolism. All of the sources of variation can inform blueberry breeding practices to influence precision nutrition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1136
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • anthocyanins
  • blueberries
  • polyphenols
  • precision nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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