Gut Microbiome and Metabolic Syndrome

Diabetes Metab Syndr. Apr-Jun 2016;10(2 Suppl 1):S150-7. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2016.01.024. Epub 2016 Feb 11.


The gut microbiome contributes approximately 2kg of the whole body weight, and recent studies suggest that gut microbiota has a profound effect on human metabolism, potentially contributing to several features of the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is defined by a clustering of metabolic disorders that include central adiposity with visceral fat accumulation, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, dysglycemia and non-optimal blood pressure levels. Metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that around 20-25 percent of the world's adult population has metabolic syndrome. In this manuscript, we have reviewed the existing data linking gut microbiome with metabolic syndrome. Existing evidence from studies both in animals and humans support a link between gut microbiome and various components of metabolic syndrome. Possible pathways include involvement with energy homeostasis and metabolic processes, modulation of inflammatory signaling pathways, interferences with the immune system, and interference with the renin-angiotensin system. Modification of gut microbiota via prebiotics, probiotics or other dietary interventions has provided evidence to support a possible beneficial effect of interventions targeting gut microbiota modulation to treat components or complications of metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: Diet; Human gut; Metabolic syndrome; Microbiome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet Therapy / methods
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / microbiology*
  • Signal Transduction