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We read with great interest the two recent communications by Vandeputte et al1 and Tigchelaar et al,2 which reported an association between stool consistency and gut microbiota composition. Both studies focused on stool consistency, based on the Bristol Stool Scale (BSS) as the main trait, due to its reported correlation with colonic transit time (CTT) that is of clinical relevance for several GI conditions. However, stool frequency, another feature of human bowel function that is easy to measure and record, has also been shown to correlate with CTT,3 ,4 although to a lesser extent than stool form, and has not yet been investigated in relation to microbiota composition.
We examined the association between gut microbiota and stool frequency in the Population-based Colonoscopy study, a general population-based cohort from Stockholm, Sweden, previously described in detail.5 Sixty-nine individuals (21 males and 48 females, aged 55.6±10.33) with available frozen faecal samples and daily recordings of defaecation …
Contributors MD had the original idea, and designed the study together with AF; SW, AA, LE and LA collected material, characterised the study subjects and acquired data; F-AH, AF and JFB performed microbiota sequencing; data analysis and interpretation were done by FH, MB, FB, JR and MD. FH, MD and JR drafted the manuscript with critical revision from all authors.
Funding Supported by funds from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsradet) to MD; European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013, grant number 262055, ESGI) to MD and AF; Iranian ministry of health and medical education to FH.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.