Background: Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes are major public health challenges. Recently, interest has surged regarding the possible role of the intestinal microbiota as potential novel contributors to the increased prevalence of these 3 disorders.
Content: Recent advances in microbial DNA sequencing technologies have resulted in the widespread application of whole-genome sequencing technologies for metagenomic DNA analysis of complex ecosystems such as the human gut. Current evidence suggests that the gut microbiota affect nutrient acquisition, energy harvest, and a myriad of host metabolic pathways.
Conclusion: Advances in the Human Microbiome Project and human metagenomics research will lead the way toward a greater understanding of the importance and role of the gut microbiome in metabolic disorders such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
© 2013 American Association for Clinical Chemistry