The gut microbiota has the capacity to produce a diverse range of compounds that play a major role in regulating the activity of distal organs and the liver is strategically positioned downstream of the gut. Gut microbiota linked compounds such as short chain fatty acids, bile acids, choline metabolites, indole derivatives, vitamins, polyamines, lipids, neurotransmitters and neuroactive compounds, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hormones have many biological functions. This review focuses on the gut microbiota and host metabolism in liver cirrhosis. Dysbiosis in liver cirrhosis causes serious complications, such as bacteremia and hepatic encephalopathy, accompanied by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and increased intestinal permeability. Gut dysbiosis in cirrhosis and intervention with probiotics and synbiotics in a clinical setting is reviewed and evaluated. Recent studies have revealed the relationship between gut microbiota and host metabolism in chronic metabolic liver disease, especially, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, and with the gut microbiota metabolic interactions in dysbiosis related metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Recently, our understanding of the relationship between the gut and liver and how this regulates systemic metabolic changes in liver cirrhosis has increased. The serum lipid levels of phospholipids, free fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially, eicosapentaenoic acid, arachidonic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid have significant correlations with specific fecal flora in liver cirrhosis. Many clinical and experimental reports support the relationship between fatty acid metabolism and gut-microbiota. Various blood metabolome such as cytokines, amino acids, and vitamins are correlated with gut microbiota in probiotics-treated liver cirrhosis patients. The future evaluation of the gut-microbiota-liver metabolic network and the intervention of these relationships using probiotics, synbiotics, and prebiotics, with sufficient nutrition could aid the development of treatments and prevention for liver cirrhosis patients.
Keywords: Fatty acids; Liver cirrhosis; Metabolism; Microbiota; Probiotics.