Nat Commun 14 (1) 2250 [2023-04-20; online 2023-04-20]
Appendicular lean mass (ALM) associates with mobility and bone mineral density (BMD). While associations between gut microbiota composition and ALM have been reported, previous studies rely on relatively small sample sizes. Here, we determine the associations between prevalent gut microbes and ALM in large discovery and replication cohorts with information on relevant confounders within the population-based Norwegian HUNT cohort (n = 5196, including women and men). We show that the presence of three bacterial species - Coprococcus comes, Dorea longicatena, and Eubacterium ventriosum - are reproducibly associated with higher ALM. When combined into an anabolic species count, participants with all three anabolic species have 0.80 kg higher ALM than those without any. In an exploratory analysis, the anabolic species count is positively associated with femoral neck and total hip BMD. We conclude that the anabolic species count may be used as a marker of ALM and BMD. The therapeutic potential of these anabolic species to prevent sarcopenia and osteoporosis needs to be determined.