Premise of Systems Microbiomics in Improving Health and Related Diagnostics for Human and Companion Animals

Sunil Kochhar, PhD

Sunil Kochhar, PhD,

Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland


Systems microbiomics creates a comprehensive profile of an individual’s metabolome and microbiome. Defining the “metabotype” of individual people or companion animals offers an opportunity to evaluate the metabolic response, and the degree of this response, to specific dietary changes at the individual level. Kochhar describes how system microbiomics provided a valuable tool to study aging in a long-term study of dogs in which caloric restriction (CR) of energy intake, without malnutrition, was shown to prolong life and delay age-related morbidity.

Key points

  • System microbiomics combined with data modeling can lead to development of personalized nutrition that mimics the benefits of caloric restriction.
  • Kochhar et al., applied system microbiomics to model serum and urinary metabolic phenotypes in a study of aging and its retardation in 25% calorie-restricted (CR) and pair-housed, control-fed Labrador retriever dogs. Among the results:
    • Age was the dominating factor influencing the metabolic trajectory.
    • Increased excretion of creatinine up to adulthood, and then decreased in later life roughly in parallel with declining lean body composition.
    • Relatively high excretion of glycoproteins was noted in dogs at early ages.
    • Changes in gut microbiota were associated with both aging and dietary restriction.
    • Comparing population of humans in their 100s to those in their 40s showed that centenarians have a unique microbiome, with fewer Gram + bacteria. However, it is not clear if this is a cause or effect.

Clinical relevance

This research shows the potential of systems microbiomics to reveal connections between an individual’s metabolism and gut microflora. This system-wide “snapshot” may ultimately lead to ways for specifically reshaping an individual’s diet to improve health.

Download full proceedings

This document contains summaries of all presentations from the Companion Animal Nutrition Summit, held May 3-5, 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina. Please note that these summaries represent overviews of the presentations and may include opinions and research of presenters, which do not necessarily reflect those of the Nestlé Purina Petcare Company.
Produced by the Purina Institute, May 21, 2018


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