Interplay between obesity and associated metabolic disorders: new insights into the gut microbiota

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2009 Dec;9(6):737-43. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2009.06.016. Epub 2009 Jul 21.


Obesity and associated metabolic disorders are worldwide epidemic. The literature provides new evidence that gut microbiota dysbiosis (at the phyla, genus, or species level) affects host metabolism and energy storage. Here we discuss new findings that may explain how gut microbiota can be involved in the development or in the control of obesity and associated low-grade inflammation. New powerful molecular biology methods and the use of gnotobiotic animal allowed to analyze the molecular link between gut bacteria and the host. Moreover, even if more studies are needed to unravel how changing gut microbiota impacts on the development of obesity and related metabolic alterations, probiotic and prebiotic approach appear as potential interesting treatments to reverse host metabolic alterations linked to gut microbiota dysbiosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium / pathogenicity
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Metagenome / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use


  • Prebiotics