Targeting Carbohydrates and Polyphenols for a Healthy Microbiome and Healthy Weight

Curr Nutr Rep. 2019 Dec;8(4):307-316. doi: 10.1007/s13668-019-00281-5.


Purpose of review: In this review, we focus on microbiota modulation using non-digestible carbohydrate and polyphenols (i.e., prebiotics) that have the potential to modulate body weight.

Recent findings: Prebiotics derived from plants have gained the interest of public and scientific communities as they may prevent diseases and help maintain health. Maintaining a healthy body weight is key to reducing the risk of developing chronic metabolic complications. However, the prevalence of obesity has increased to pandemic proportions and is now ranked globally in the top five risk factors for death. While diet and behavioral modification programs aiming to reduce weight gain and promote weight loss are effective in the short term, they remain insufficient over the long haul as compliance is often low and weight regain is very common. As a result, novel dietary strategies targeting the gut microbiota have been successful in decreasing obesity and metabolic disorders via different molecular mechanisms.

Keywords: Dietary fibers; Gut microbiota; Obesity; Polyphenols; Prebiotics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight*
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology
  • Metabolic Diseases / prevention & control
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Polyphenols / metabolism*
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Loss


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Polyphenols
  • Prebiotics