Impact of the gut microbiota on the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus

Front Microbiol. 2014 Apr 29;5:190. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00190. eCollection 2014.


Obesity and its associated disorders are a major public health concern. Although obesity has been mainly related with perturbations of the balance between food intake and energy expenditure, other factors must nevertheless be considered. Recent insight suggests that an altered composition and diversity of gut microbiota could play an important role in the development of metabolic disorders. This review discusses research aimed at understanding the role of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (TDM2). The establishment of gut microbiota is dependent on the type of birth. With effect from this point, gut microbiota remain quite stable, although changes take place between birth and adulthood due to external influences, such as diet, disease and environment. Understand these changes is important to predict diseases and develop therapies. A new theory suggests that gut microbiota contribute to the regulation of energy homeostasis, provoking the development of an impairment in energy homeostasis and causing metabolic diseases, such as insulin resistance or TDM2. The metabolic endotoxemia, modifications in the secretion of incretins and butyrate production might explain the influence of the microbiota in these diseases.

Keywords: LPS; SCFA; gut microbiota; inflammation; obesity; type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Review