Brahe LK, Astrup A, Larsen LH. - - Adv Nutr. 2016 Jan 15;7(1):90-101
Obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers, which are among the leading causes of death worldwide. Obesity and obesity-related metabolic diseases are characterized by specific alterations in the human gut microbiota. Experimental studies with gut microbiota transplantations in mice and in humans indicate that a specific gut microbiota composition can be the cause and not just the consequence of the obese state and metabolic disease, which suggests a potential for gut microbiota modulation in prevention and treatment of obesity-related metabolic diseases. In addition, dietary intervention studies have suggested that modulation of the gut microbiota can improve metabolic risk markers in humans, but a causal role of the gut microbiota in such studies has not yet been established. Here, we review and discuss the role of the gut microbiota in obesity-related metabolic diseases and the potential of dietary modulation of the gut microbiota in metabolic disease prevention and treatment.