Dietetics and Nutrition
Evaluation of an 8-Week vegan diet on plasma trimethylamine-N-oxide and postchallenge glucose in adults with dysglycemia or obesityBackground: Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a metabolite generated by the gut in response (in part) to meat consumption, is linked to poor cardiometabolic health. Objectives: We investigate the effect of an 8-week vegan diet, followed by a 4-week period of unrestricted diet, on glucose tolerance and plasma TMAO in human omnivores with obesity or dysglycemia. Methods: This interventional single-group prospective trial involved 23 regular meat eaters with dysglycemia [glycated hemoglobin ≥ 5.7% and ≤8% (39-64 mmol/mol)], or obesity (ΒΜΙ ≥ 30 kg/m2) aged 57.8 ± 10.0 years. Participants [14 men (60.9%) and 9 women (39.1%)] were supported in following a vegan diet for 8 weeks, followed by 4 weeks of unrestricted diet. The primary outcomes (plasma TMAO and glucose) were assessed at baseline, during the vegan diet (weeks 1 and 8), and after the unrestricted diet period (week 12). TMAO was assessed after fasting and glucose was measured as a time-averaged total AUC using a 180-minute oral-glucose-tolerance test. Generalized estimating equation models with an exchangeable correlation structure were used to assess changes from baseline, adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, and weight. Results: TMAO levels (marginal mean) were reduced after weeks 1 and 8 of a vegan diet compared to baseline, from 10.7 (97.5% CI, 6.61-17.3) μmol/L to 5.66 (97.5% CI, 4.56-7.02) μmol/L and 6.38 (97.5% CI, 5.25-7.74) μmol/L, respectively; however, levels rebounded at week 12 after resumption of an unrestricted diet (17.5 μmol/L; 97.5% CI, 7.98-38.4). Postprandial glucose levels (marginal means) were reduced after weeks 1 and 8 compared to baseline, from 8.07 (97.5% CI, 7.24-8.90) mmol/L to 7.14 (97.5% CI, 6.30-7.98) mmol/L and 7.34 (97.5% CI, 6.63-8.04) mmol/L, respectively. Results for glucose and TMAO were independent of weight loss. Improvements in the lipid profile and markers of renal function were observed at week 8. Conclusions: These findings suggest that a vegan diet is an effective strategy for improving glucose tolerance and reducing plasma TMAO in individuals with dysglycemia or obesity. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03315988.