The potential role of the intestinal gut microbiota in obesity and the metabolic syndrome
Fava, F., Lovegrove, J.A., Tuohy, K.M. and Gibson, G.R. (2009) The potential role of the intestinal gut microbiota in obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Food Science and Technology Bulletin, 5 (1). pp. 71-92. ISSN 1476-2137
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The incidence of obesity has reached alarming levels worldwide, thus increasing the risk of development of metabolic disorders (e.g. type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease (CHD) and cancer). Among the causes of obesity, diet and lifestyle play a central role. Although the treatment of obesity may appear quite straightforward, by simply re-addressing the balance between energy intake and energy expenditure, practically it has been very challenging. In the search for new therapeutic targets for treatment of obesity and related disorders, the gut microbiota and its activities have been investigated in relation to obesity. The human gut microbiota has already been shown to influence total energy intake and lipid metabolism, particularly through colonic fermentation of undigestible dietary constituents and production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA). Recent studies have highlighted the contribution of the gut microbiota to mammalian metabolism and energy harvested from the diet. A dietary modulation of the gut microbiota and its metabolic output could positively influence host metabolism and, therefore, constitute a potential coadjutant approach in the management of obesity and weight loss.