Gut Microbiota of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Dig Dis Sci. 2016 May;61(5):1268-81. doi: 10.1007/s10620-016-4045-1. Epub 2016 Feb 22.


The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has been rapidly increasing worldwide. It has become a leading cause of liver transplantation. Accumulating evidence suggests a significant role for gut microbiota in its development and progression. Here we review the effect of gut microbiota on developing hepatic fatty infiltration and its progression. Current literature supports a possible role for gut microbiota in the development of liver steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis. We also review the literature on possible interventions for NAFLD that target the gut microbiota.

Keywords: Fibrosis; Inflammation; Microbiota and intestinal permeability; NAFLD; NASH; Steatosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / microbiology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / microbiology*