Accumulating evidence indicates that the gut microbiome is an important regulator of body weight, glucose and lipid metabolism, and inflammatory processes, and may thereby play a key role in the aetiology of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Interindividual responsiveness to specific dietary interventions may be partially determined by differences in baseline gut microbiota composition and functionality between individuals with distinct metabolic phenotypes. However, the relationship between an individual's diet, gut microbiome and host metabolic phenotype is multidirectional and complex, yielding a challenge for practical implementation of targeted dietary guidelines. In this review, we discuss the latest research describing interactions between dietary composition, the gut microbiome and host metabolism. Furthermore, we describe how this knowledge can be integrated to develop precision-based nutritional strategies to improve bodyweight control and metabolic health in humans. Specifically, we will address that (1) insight in the role of the baseline gut microbial and metabolic phenotype in dietary intervention response may provide leads for precision-based nutritional strategies; that (2) the balance between carbohydrate and protein fermentation by the gut microbiota, as well as the site of fermentation in the colon, seems important determinants of host metabolism; and that (3) 'big data', including multiple omics and advanced modelling, are of undeniable importance in predicting (non-)response to dietary interventions. Clearly, detailed metabolic and microbial phenotyping in humans is necessary to better understand the link between diet, the gut microbiome and host metabolism, which is required to develop targeted dietary strategies and guidelines for different subgroups of the population.
Keywords: glucose metabolism; intestinal bacteria; nutrition; obesity.
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