Fermented Foods in the Management of Obesity: Mechanisms of Action and Future Challenges

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 31;24(3):2665. doi: 10.3390/ijms24032665.


Fermented foods are part of the staple diet in many different countries and populations and contain various probiotic microorganisms and non-digestible prebiotics. Fermentation is the process of breaking down sugars by bacteria and yeast species; it not only enhances food preservation but can also increase the number of beneficial gut bacteria. Regular consumption of fermented foods has been associated with a variety of health benefits (although some health risks also exist), including improved digestion, enhanced immunity, and greater weight loss, suggesting that fermented foods have the potential to help in the design of effective nutritional therapeutic approaches for obesity. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of the health effects of fermented foods and the corresponding mechanisms of action in obesity and obesity-related metabolic abnormalities.

Keywords: fermented foods; gastrointestinal microbiome; immunity; metabolism; obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Fermentation
  • Fermented Foods* / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics* / therapeutic use


  • Prebiotics

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.