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Dietary fat and the faecal microbiome: where collinearity may lead to incorrect attribution of effects to fat
  1. Zaid S Ardalan,
  2. Miles P Sparrow,
  3. Jane G Muir,
  4. Peter R Gibson
  1. Gastroenterology, Alfred Health, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zaid S Ardalan, Gastroenterology, Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia; zaid.ardalan{at}

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We read with interest the study reported by Yi Wan and colleagues, who examined the relative effects of high-fat and low-fat diets on the gut microbiota and faecal metabolites, and their relationship with cardiometabolic risk factors.1 The authors should be congratulated for the remarkable achievement of performing a feeding study on 217 young adults for 6 months with impressive retention rate. They concluded that higher fat consumption was associated with unfavourable changes in gut microbiota, faecal metabolomic profiles and systemic inflammation, and implied that difference in dietary fat was causally related to the changes observed, as evidenced by the title of the paper. While the study has been beautifully performed, we believe that the results have been misinterpreted.

The authors have overlooked the importance of the associated alterations in non-digestible carbohydrates. The …

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  • Contributors ZSA is the lead author of the letter. MPS and JGM revised the manuscript. PRG supervised and edited the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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