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Understanding the Role of the Gut Microbiome and Microbial Metabolites in Obesity and Obesity-Associated Metabolic Disorders: Current Evidence and Perspectives

  • Natalia Vallianou
  • Theodora Stratigou
  • Gerasimos Socrates Christodoulatos
  • Maria DalamagaEmail author
Metabolism (M Dalamaga, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Metabolism

Abstract

Purpose

In this review, we summarize current evidence on the gut microbiome and microbial metabolites in relation to obesity and obesity-associated metabolic disorders. Special emphasis is given on mechanisms interconnecting gut microbiome and microbial metabolites with metabolic disorders as well as on potential preventive and therapeutic perspectives with a “bench to bedside” approach.

Recent Findings

Recent data have highlighted the role of gut dysbiosis in the etiology and pathogenesis of metabolic disorders, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Overall, most studies have demonstrated a reduction in gut microbiome diversity and richness in obese subjects, but there is still much debate on the exact microbial signature of a healthy or an obese gut microbiome. Despite the controversial role of an altered gut microbiome as a cause or consequence of obesity in human studies, numerous animal studies and certain human studies suggest beneficial metabolic effects of certain microbial intestinal metabolites, such as butyrate, that could be used in the prevention and treatment of obesity and its comorbidities.

Summary

More randomized controlled trials and larger prospective studies including well-defined cohorts as well as a multi-omics approach are warranted to better identify the associations between the gut microbiome, microbial metabolites, and obesity and its metabolic complications.

Keywords

Diabetes Gut Intestine Metabolic syndrome Metabolite Metabolic disorder Microbiome Microbiota Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease Obesity Prebiotics Probiotics Synbiotics 

Abbreviations

AX

Arabinoxylan

BCAAs

Branched-chain amino acids

BMI

Body mass index

CRP

C-reactive protein

CVD

Cardiovascular disease

DM

Diabetes mellitus

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

F/B

Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio

FXR

Farnesoid X receptor

GF

Germ-free

GI

Gastrointestinal tract

GLP-1

Glucagon-like peptide-1

HbA1c

Glycated hemoglobin

HCC

Hepatocellular carcinoma

IL

Interleukin

IGF

Insulin-like growth factor

IRS

Insulin receptor substrate

ITF

Inulin-type fructans

MAPK

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

MS

Metabolic syndrome

LPS

Lipopolysaccharide

NAD

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide

NAFLD

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

NASH

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

NF-κB

Nuclear factor-κB

PCR

Polymerase chain reaction

qPCR

Quantitative PCR

RCT

Randomized controlled trials

SCFAs

Short-chain fatty acids

STAT

Signal transducer and activator of transcription

STRA6

Stimulated by retinoic acid 6

T2DM

Type 2 diabetes mellitus

TGR5

G protein-coupled bile acid receptor 1

TLR

Toll-like receptor

TMA

Trimethylamine

TMAO

Trimethylamine N-oxide

TNF-α

Tumor necrosis factor-α

TSOD

Tsumura Suzuki obese diabetes

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Vallianou Natalia has nothing to disclose.

Dr. Stratigou has nothing to disclose.

Dr. Christodoulatos GS has nothing to disclose.

Dr. Dalamaga has nothing to disclose.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors were performed in accordance with all applicable ethical standards including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Vallianou
    • 1
  • Theodora Stratigou
    • 1
  • Gerasimos Socrates Christodoulatos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Maria Dalamaga
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyEvangelismos General Hospital of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Laboratory of MicrobiologyKAT HospitalAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical SchoolNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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