Gut microbiota and obesity
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- Scarpellini, E., Campanale, M., Leone, D. et al. Intern Emerg Med (2010) 5(Suppl 1): 53. doi:10.1007/s11739-010-0450-1
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Intestinal epithelium, mucosal immune system, and bacterial flora represent a morpho-functional system on dynamic balance responsible for the intestinal metabolic and trophic functions, and the regulation of mucosal and systemic host’s immunity. Obesity is a pathological condition affecting a growing number of people especially in the Western countries resulting from the failure of the organism’s energetic balance based on the perfect equality of income, waste, and storage. Recent evidences explain the mechanisms for the microbial regulation of the host’s metabolism both in health and disease. In particular, animal studies have explained how quali-/quantitative changes in microflora composition are able to affect the absorption of the nutrients and the energy distribution. Antibiotics, prebiotics, probiotics, and symbiotics are the instruments utilized in the current clinical practice to modulate the intestinal bacterial flora in man both in health and pathologic conditions with promising preliminary results on prevention and therapy of obesity and related metabolic diseases.