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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 171643, 9 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Gut Microbiota between Sasang Constitutions

1ChunLab, Inc., Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea
2Department of Sasang Constitutional Medicine, Dongguk University, 814 Siksa-dong, Gyeonggi-do 410-773, Republic of Korea
3Department of Medicine, Dongguk University, 814 Siksa-dong, Gyeonggi-do 410-773, Republic of Korea
4Department of Food and Nutrition, Silla University, Busan 617-736, Republic of Korea
5Cell Biotech Co., Ltd., Gimpo 415-871, Republic of Korea
6Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea
7Department of Pathology, College of Oriental Medicine, Dongguk University, Seoul 410-773, Republic of Korea
8Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of Korean Medicine, Dongguk University, 814 Siksa-dong, Gyeonggi-do 410-773, Republic of Korea

Received 18 June 2013; Revised 21 October 2013; Accepted 20 November 2013

Academic Editor: Andre-Michael Beer

Copyright © 2013 Bong-Soo Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Sasang constitutional medicine has long been applied to diagnose and treat patients with various diseases. Studies have been conducted for establishment of scientific evidence supporting Sasang Constitutional (SC) diagnosis. Recent human microbiome studies have demonstrated individual variations of gut microbiota which can be dependent on lifestyle and health conditions. We hypothesized that gut microbial similarities and discrepancies may exist across SC types. We compared the difference of gut microbiota among three constitutions (So-Yang, So-Eum, and Tae-Eum), along with the investigation of anthropometric and biochemical parameters. Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were predominant phyla in all SC types. The median plot analysis suggested that Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes appeared more abundant in SE and TE, respectively, in the male subjects of 20–29 years old. At the genus level, Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides manifested the difference between SE and TE types. For anthropometry, body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference of the TE type were significantly higher than those of the other types. Overall, findings indicated a possible link between SC types and gut microbiota within a narrow age range. Further investigations are deemed necessary to elucidate the influences of age, gender, and other factors in the context of SC types and gut microbiota.