A cross-sectional analysis from the Mykinso Cohort Study: Establishing reference ranges for Japanese gut microbial indices

Satoshi Watanabe*, Shoichiro Kameoka, Natsuko O. Shinozaki, Ryuichi Kubo, Akifumi Nishida, Minoru Kuriyama, Aya K. Takeda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to establish reference ranges for gut microbial indices by collecting real-world Japanese microbiome data from a Mykinso cohort. Although several large cohort studies have focused on the human gut microbiome, large cohort studies of the gut microbiome from Japanese populations are scarce, especially from healthy or non-diseased individuals. We collected stool samples and original survey lifestyle information from 5,843 Japanese individuals through the Mykinso gut microbiome testing service. From the obtained 16S rRNA sequence data derived from stool samples, the ratio and distribution of each taxon were analyzed. The relationship between different epidemiological attributes and gut microbial indicators were statistically analyzed. The qualitative and quantitative indicators of these common gut microbiota were confirmed to be strongly correlated with age, sex, constipation/diarrhea, and history of lifestyle-related diseases. Therefore, we set up a healthy sub-cohort that controlled for these attribute factors and defined reference ranges from the distribution of gut microbial index in that population. Taken together, these results show that the gut microbiota of Japanese people had high beta-diversity, with no single “typical” gut microbiota type. We believe that the reference ranges for the gut microbial indices obtained in this study can be new reference values for determining the balance and health of the gut microbiota of an individual. In the future, it is necessary to clarify the clinical validity of these reference values by comparing them with a clinical disease cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalBioscience of Microbiota, Food and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • 16S rRNA
  • Japanese
  • gut microbiota
  • microbial index
  • reference range

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Gastroenterology


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