Purpose of review: Update on the development of microbiome-based interventions and dietary supplements to combat obesity and related comorbidities, which are leading causes of global mortality.
Recent findings: The role of intestinal dysbiosis, partly resulting from unhealthy diets, in the development of obesity and metabolic disorders, is well documented by recent translational research. Human experimental trials with whole-faecal transplants are ongoing, and their results will be crucial as proof of concept that interventions intended to modulate the microbiome composition and function could be alternatives for the management of obesity and related comorbidities. Potential next-generation probiotic bacteria (Akkermansia, Bacteroides spp., Eubacterium halli) and microbiota-derived molecules (e.g. membrane proteins, short-chain fatty acids) are being evaluated in preclinical and clinical trials to promote the development of innovative dietary supplements. The fact that live or inactivated bacteria and their products can regulate pathways that increase energy expenditure, and reduce energy intake, and absorption and systemic inflammation make them attractive research targets from a nutritional and clinical perspective.
Summary: Understanding which are the beneficial bacteria and their bioactive products is helping us to envisage innovative microbiome-based dietary interventions to tackle obesity. Advances will likely result from future refinements of these strategies according to the individual's microbiome configuration and its particular response to interventions, thereby progressing towards personalized nutrition.