A review of metabolic potential of human gut microbiome in human nutrition

Arch Microbiol. 2018 Mar;200(2):203-217. doi: 10.1007/s00203-017-1459-x. Epub 2017 Nov 29.


The human gut contains a plethora of microbes, providing a platform for metabolic interaction between the host and microbiota. Metabolites produced by the gut microbiota act as a link between gut microbiota and its host. These metabolites act as messengers having the capacity to alter the gut microbiota. Recent advances in the characterization of the gut microbiota and its symbiotic relationship with the host have provided a platform to decode metabolic interactions. The human gut microbiota, a crucial component for dietary metabolism, is shaped by the genetic, epigenetic and dietary factors. The metabolic potential of gut microbiota explains its significance in host health and diseases. The knowledge of interactions between microbiota and host metabolism, as well as modification of microbial ecology, is really beneficial to have effective therapeutic treatments for many diet-related diseases in near future. This review cumulates the information to map the role of human gut microbiota in dietary component metabolism, the role of gut microbes derived metabolites in human health and host-microbe metabolic interactions in health and diseases.

Keywords: Gut microbiota; Microbiome; Microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism / physiology
  • Diet*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Symbiosis