Gut Microbiota, Its Role in Induction of Alzheimer's Disease Pathology, and Possible Therapeutic Interventions: Special Focus on Anthocyanins

Cells. 2020 Apr 1;9(4):853. doi: 10.3390/cells9040853.


The human gut is a safe environment for several microbes that are symbiotic and important for the wellbeing of human health. However, studies on gut microbiota in different animals have suggested that changes in the composition and structure of these microbes may promote gut inflammation by releasing inflammatory cytokines and lipopolysaccharides, gut-wall leakage, and may affect systemic inflammatory and immune mechanisms that are important for the normal functioning of the body. There are many factors that aid in the gut's dysbiosis and neuroinflammation, including high stress levels, lack of sleep, fatty and processed foods, and the prolonged use of antibiotics. These neurotoxic mechanisms of dysbiosis may increase susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative conditions. Therefore, studies have recently been conducted to tackle AD-like conditions by specifically targeting gut microbes that need further elucidation. It was suggested that gut dyshomeostasis may be regulated by using available options, including the use of flavonoids such as anthocyanins, and restriction of the use of high-fatty-acid-containing food. In this review, we summarize the gut microbiota, factors promoting it, and possible therapeutic interventions especially focused on the therapeutic potential of natural dietary polyflavonoid anthocyanins. Our study strongly suggests that gut dysbiosis and systemic inflammation are critically involved in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, and the natural intake of these flavonoids may provide new therapeutic opportunities for preclinical or clinical studies.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; gut dysbiosis; memory impairment; natural polyflavonoids; neuroinflammation; systemic inflammation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / microbiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Amyloid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / therapeutic use*
  • Dysbiosis / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological


  • Amyloid
  • Anthocyanins