Modulation of gut microbiome in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: pro-, pre-, syn-, and antibiotics

  • Min Seok Cho
  • Sang Yeol Kim
  • Ki Tae Suk
  • Byung-Yong Kim


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common types of liver diseases worldwide and its incidence continues to increase. NAFLD occurs when the body can no longer effectively store excess energy in the adipose tissue. Despite the increasing prevalence of NAFLD, making lifestyle changes, including increased exercise, is often an elusive goal for patients with NAFLD. The liver directly connects to the gut-gastrointestinal milieu via the portal vein, which are all part of the gut-liver axis. Therefore, the gut-microbiome and microbial products have been actively studied as likely key factors in NAFLD pathophysiology. Hence, dysbiosis of the gut microbiome and therapeutic manipulation of the gut-liver axis are being investigated. Novel therapeutic approaches for modulating gut microbiota through the administration of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and antibiotics have been proposed with numerous promising initial reports on the effectiveness and clinical applications of these approaches. This review delves into the current evidence on novel therapies that modulate gut microbiota and discusses ongoing clinical trials targeting the gut-liver axis for the management and prevention of NAFLD.


NAFLD gut-liver axis microbiome probiotics prebiotics synbiotics 


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© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ChunLab, Inc.SeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, College of MedicineHallym UniversityChuncheonRepublic of Korea

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