Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and the Gut Microbiome

Clin Liver Dis. 2016 May;20(2):263-75. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2015.10.012. Epub 2015 Dec 24.


Recent progress has allowed a more comprehensive study of the gut microbiota. Gut microbiota helps in health maintenance and gut dysbiosis associates with chronic metabolic diseases. Modulation of short-chain fatty acids and choline bioavailability, lipoprotein lipase induction, alteration of bile acid profile, endogenous alcohol production, or liver inflammation secondary to endotoxemia result from gut dysbiosis. Modulation of the gut microbiota by pre/probiotics gives promising results in animal, but needs to be evaluated in human before use in clinical practice. Gut microbiota adds complexity to the pathophysiology of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease but represents an opportunity to discover new therapeutic targets.

Keywords: Fatty liver; Fibrosis; Gut microbiota; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver cirrhosis; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Steatohepatitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / microbiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / microbiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index