Effects of environmental pollutants on gut microbiota

Environ Pollut. 2017 Mar:222:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.11.045. Epub 2017 Jan 11.


Environmental pollutants have become an increasingly common health hazard in the last several decades. Recently, a number of studies have demonstrated the profound relationship between gut microbiota and our health. Gut microbiota are very sensitive to drugs, diet, and even environmental pollutants. In this review, we discuss the possible effects of environmental pollutants including antibiotics, heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, pesticides, nanomaterials, and food additives on gut microbiota and their subsequent effects on health. We emphasize that gut microbiota are also essential for the toxicity evaluation of environmental pollution. In the future, more studies should focus on the relationship between environmental pollution, gut microbiota, and human health.

Keywords: Environmental pollutants; Gut microbiota; Health; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Digestion / drug effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Environmental Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Humans


  • Environmental Pollutants