The Gut Microbiota: The Gateway to Improved Metabolism

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2016 Dec;45(4):601-614. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2016.07.001.


Obesity is an emerging global epidemic with profound challenges to world health care economies and societies. Traditional approaches to fighting obesity have not shown promise in promoting a decline in obesity prevalence. The gut microbiota is becoming widely appreciated for its role in regulating metabolism and thus represents a target for new therapies to combat obesity and associated comorbidities. This article provides an overview of altered microbial community structure in obesity, dietary impact on the gut microbiota, host-microbe interactions contributing to the disease, and improvements in microbial assemblage after bariatric surgery and with therapies targeting the gut microbiome.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Enteroendocrine hormones; Lipid absorption; Metabolism; Microbiota; Prebiotics; Probiotics; Synbiotics.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Diet
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / microbiology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors


  • Prebiotics