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Associations between Dietary Patterns and Bile Acids-Results from a Cross-Sectional Study in Vegans and Omnivores

Journal article
Authors I. Trefflich
Hanns-Ulrich Marschall
R. di Giuseppe
Marcus Ståhlman
A. Michalsen
A. Lampen
K. Abraham
C. Weikert
Published in Nutrients
Volume 12
Issue 1
ISSN 2072-6643
Publication year 2020
Published at Wallenberg Laboratory
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Language en
Keywords vegan diet, fecal and serum bile acids, dietary pattern, reduced rank, regression, reduced rank regression, metabolism, microbiota, health, cancer, risk, nutrition, disease, meat, food, Nutrition & Dietetics
Subject categories Clinical Medicine, Nutrition and Dietetics


Bile acids play an active role in fat metabolism and, in high-fat diets, elevated concentrations of fecal bile acids may be related to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. This study investigated concentrations of fecal and serum bile acids in 36 vegans and 36 omnivores. The reduced rank regression was used to identify dietary patterns associated with fecal bile acids. Dietary patterns were derived with secondary and conjugated fecal bile acids as response variables and 53 food groups as predictors. Vegans had higher fiber (p < 0.01) and lower fat (p = 0.0024) intake than omnivores. In serum, primary and glycine-conjugated bile acids were higher in vegans than in omnivores (p <= 0.01). All fecal bile acids were significantly lower in vegans compared to omnivores (p < 0.01). Processed meat, fried potatoes, fish, margarine, and coffee contributed most positively, whereas muesli most negatively to a dietary pattern that was directly associated with all fecal bile acids. According to the pattern, fat intake was positively and fiber intake was inversely correlated with bile acids. The findings contribute to the evidence that, in particular, animal products and fat may play a part in higher levels of fecal bile acids.

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