Self-reported bovine milk intake is associated with oral microbiota composition

Ingegerd Johansson, Anders Esberg, Linda Eriksson, Simon Haworth, Pernilla Lif Holgerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Bovine milk intake has been associated with various disease outcomes, with modulation of the gastro-intestinal microbiome being suggested as one potential mechanism. The aim of the present study was to explore the oral microbiota in relation to variation in self-reported milk intake. Saliva and tooth biofilm microbiota was characterized by 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and cultivation in 154 Swedish adolescents, and information on diet and other lifestyle markers were obtained from a questionnaire, and dental caries from clinical examination. A replication cohort of 31,571 adults with similar information on diet intake, other lifestyle markers and caries was also studied. Multivariate partial least squares (PLS) modelling separated adolescents with low milk intake (lowest tertile with <0.4 servings/day) apart from those with high intake of milk (≥3.7 servings/day) based on saliva and tooth biofilm, respectively. Taxa in several genera contributed to this separation, and milk intake was inversely associated with the caries causing Streptococcus mutans in saliva and tooth biofilm samples by sequencing, PCR and cultivation. Despite the difference in S. mutans colonization, caries prevalence did not differ between milk consumption groups in the adolescents or the adults in the replication cohort, which may reflect that a significant positive association between intake of milk and sweet products was present in both the study and replication group. It was concluded that high milk intake correlates with different oral microbiota and it is hypothesized that milk may confer similar effects in the gut. The study also illustrated that reduction of one single disease associated bacterial species, such as S. mutans by milk intake, may modulate but not prevent development of complex diseases, such as caries, due to adverse effects from other causal factors, such as sugar intake in the present study.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0193504
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2018


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