Metagenomic analysis reveals the signature of gut microbiota associated with human chronotypes

Patterns of diurnal activity differ substantially between individuals, with early risers and late sleepers being examples of opposite chronotypes. Growing evidence suggests that the late chronotype significantly impacts the risk of developing mood disorders, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Despite the vast potential of utilizing chronotype information for precision medicine, those factors that shape chronotypes remain poorly understood. Here, we assessed whether the various chronotypes are associated with different gut microbiome compositions. Using metagenomic sequencing analysis, we established a distinct signature associated with chronotype based on two bacterial genera, Alistipes (elevated in “larks”) and Lachnospira (elevated in “owls”). We identified three metabolic pathways associated with the early chronotype, and linked distinct dietary patterns with different chronotypes. Our work demonstrates an association between the gut microbiome and chronotype and may represent the first step towards developing dietary interventions aimed at ameliorating the deleterious health correlates of the late chronotype.

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