Evidence of the interconnection between the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and the human gut microbiome.
Diversity of the gut microbiota is crucial for human health. However, whether fruit and vegetable associated bacteria contribute to overall gut bacterial diversity is still unknown. We reconstructed metagenome-assembled genomes from 156 fruit and vegetable metagenomes to investigate the prevalence of associated bacteria in 2,426 publicly available gut metagenomes. The microbiomes of fresh fruits and vegetables and the human gut are represented by members in common such as Enterobacterales, Burkholderiales, and Lactobacillales. Exposure to bacteria via fruit and vegetable consumption potentially has a beneficial impact on the functional diversity of gut microbiota particularly due to the presence of putative health-promoting genes for the production of vitamin and short-chain fatty acids. In the human gut, they were consistently present, although at a low abundance, approx. 2.2%. Host age, vegetable consumption frequency, and the diversity of plants consumed were drivers favoring a higher proportion. Overall, these results provide one of the primary links between the human microbiome and the environmental microbiome. This study revealed evidence that fruit and vegetable-derived microbes could be found in the human gut and contribute to gut microbiome diversity.