Relationship between the Japanese-style diet, gut microbiota, and dementia: A cross-sectional study

Naoki Saji, Tsuyoshi Tsuduki, Kenta Murotani, Takayoshi Hisada, Taiki Sugimoto, Ai Kimura, Shumpei Niida, Kenji Toba, Takashi Sakurai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Previous studies have shown associations between the gut microbiota, microbial metabolites, and cognitive decline. However, the effect of the dietary composition on such associations has not been fully investigated. The aims of this study were to evaluate the relationships between adherence to a Japanese-style diet, the gut microbiota, and cognitive decline. Furthermore, we aimed to evaluate the three forms of the Japanese diet index (JDI; the conventional [JDI9], updated [JDI12], and a newly modified JDI) to determine which would show the closest relationships with cognition and the gut microbiota. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional subanalysis of data from a prospective hospital-based cohort study. We assessed the patients’ demographic characteristics, dietary composition, risk factors, cognitive function, brain imaging, gut microbiome, and microbial metabolites. On the basis of previous studies, a nine-component traditional JDI (JDI9), a 12-component modern JDI (JDI12), and a 12-component revised JDI (rJDI12), were defined. We evaluated the relationships between the JDI scores, cognitive function, and the gut microbiome and microbial metabolites using multivariable logistic regression analyses. Results: We analyzed data from 85 eligible participants (61% women; mean age: 74.6 ± 7.4 y). Compared with participants who had dementia, those without dementia were more likely to consume foods in the JDI12, including fish and shellfish (64.5 versus 39.1%, P = 0.048), mushrooms (61.3 versus 30.4%, P = 0.015), soybeans and soybean-derived foods (62.9 versus 30.4%, P = 0.013), and coffee (71 versus 43.5%, P = 0.024). There were non-significant trends toward lower fecal concentrations of gut microbial metabolites in participants with a more traditional Japanese diet. Participants with dementia had lower JDI scores than those without dementia (dementia versus non-dementia, median JDI9 score: 5 versus 7, P = 0.049; JDI12: 7 versus 8, P = 0.017; and rJDI12: 7 versus 9, P = 0.006, respectively). Conclusions: Adherence to a traditional Japanese diet was found to be inversely associated with cognitive decline and tended to be associated with lower concentrations of gut microbial metabolites.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number111524
    Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb


    • Cognitive decline
    • Dementia
    • Gut microbiota
    • Japanese diet
    • Microbiome metabolites

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


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