Response of the Gut Microbiome and Circulating Metabolome to Diet Intervention in Young Children: Ancillary Study to the Keeping Ideal Cardiovascular Health Family Intervention Trial (KIDFIT)

Project: Research project

Project Details


In the United States, the majority of deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) are related to poor diet. The process of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, that leads to CVD is known to start in childhood. Unfortunately, diet-related CVD risk factors such as obesity and diabetes have become increasingly common in children over the past few decades. Therefore, it is critical to optimize the childhood diet. To do this, we must understand the biological effects of diet in young children so that we can harness its benefits for the population and potentially even develop personalized diets. This study will examine the effects of a diet intervention in preschool-age children. We will investigate two major biological systems to determine how diet affects them and how they are related to later health, such as body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. The first system is the gut “microbiome.” The microbiome is the collection of bacteria – trillions of them – that live in our gut, “eat” what we eat, and release products that we can absorb into our bloodstream. These bacterial products can either help or harm our health. The second system is the “serum metabolome.” The serum metabolome refers to the circulating molecules in our bloodstream. These molecules can include the nutrients and bacterial products we absorb from the gut, as well as substances that our own cells make, among other things. The metabolome is delivered by the bloodstream to our tissues and organs, where the molecules can either help or harm our health. By studying the child’s microbiome and metabolome in relationship to diet and health outcomes, we can start to understand how to take advantage of diet and biology to prevent cardiovascular disease and promote optimal cardiovascular health, starting in childhood.
Effective start/end date12/15/1811/30/23


  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (901552-NU//1K23HL145101-01)
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (901552-NU//1K23HL145101-01)


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