Fecal microbiota transplantation in metabolic syndrome: History, present and future

Gut Microbes. 2017 May 4;8(3):253-267. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2017.1293224. Epub 2017 Feb 27.


The history of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) dates back even to ancient China. Recently, scientific studies have been looking into FMT as a promising treatment of various diseases, while in the process teaching us about the interaction between the human host and its resident microbial communities. Current research focuses mainly on Clostridium difficile infections, however interest is rising in other areas such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the metabolic syndrome. With regard to the latter, the intestinal microbiota might be causally related to the progression of insulin resistance and diabetes. FMT in metabolic syndrome has proven to be an intriguing method to study the role of the gut microbiota and open the way to new therapies by dissecting in whom insulin resistance is driven by microbiota. In this article we review the history of FMT, the present evidence on its role in the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome and its efficacy, limitations and future prospects.

Keywords: fecal transplantation; metabolic syndrome; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / microbiology
  • Atherosclerosis / therapy
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation / trends*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / microbiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / therapy*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / microbiology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

Grant support