More research has recently focused on the role of the gut microbiota in the development or course of numerous diseases, including non-communicable diseases. As obesity remains prevalent, the question arises as to what microbial changes are associated with increased obesity prevalence and what kind of prevention and treatment approaches it could provide. Moreover, the influence of the gut-brain axis on obesity is also crucial, since it can affect metabolism and food intake. The quantitative and qualitative changes in the microbiota composition are called dysbiosis; however, in view of the current knowledge, it is difficult to conclude which microbial imbalances are adverse or beneficial. Increased numbers of pathological microorganisms were observed among patients with obesity and comorbidities associated with it, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistance. Our review provides current knowledge regarding changes in the intestinal microbiota associated with obesity and obesity-associated comorbidities. Nevertheless, given that dietary patterns and nutrients are two of the factors affecting the intestinal microbiota, we also discuss the role of different dietary approaches, vitamins, and minerals in the shaping of the intestinal microbiota.
Keywords: chronic diseases; diabetes; diet; gut microbiota; obesity.