Gut microbiota composition and its effects on obesity and insulin resistance

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Jul;17(4):312-8. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000067.


Purpose of review: Rising evidence suggest that variation in the gut microbiome at gene and species levels defines subsets of individuals who have increased risk of obesity-related metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which is influenced by diet and genetic profile of the host. Our goal in this review is gathering the newest findings concerning gut microbiota composition and effects on host's metabolism.

Recent findings: Dietary changes have been shown as the most prominent shaper of gut microbiota composition, reflecting major phenotypes, which can also be transmitted to other individuals, in spite of genetic variances. Gut microbiota composition has also been presented as diversity, which may have important implications in metabolite production and consequent interference with inflammatory activation, insulin resistance, and obesity.

Summary: Specific approaches made it possible to comprehend some of the interactions between certain bacterial strains and their host, and how their metabolites may interfere with host's cell signaling, changing its metabolic profile. Herein, we discuss some of the mechanisms by which alterations in the gut microbiota composition may contribute to the pathophysiology of obesity and its related comorbidities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Microbiota*
  • Obesity / microbiology*


  • Bile Acids and Salts