Diets, Gut Microbiota and Metabolites

Phenomics. 2023 Mar 2;3(3):268-284. doi: 10.1007/s43657-023-00095-0. eCollection 2023 Jun.


The gut microbiota refers to the gross collection of microorganisms, estimated trillions of them, which reside within the gut and play crucial roles in the absorption and digestion of dietary nutrients. In the past decades, the new generation 'omics' (metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) technologies made it possible to precisely identify microbiota and metabolites and describe their variability between individuals, populations and even different time points within the same subjects. With massive efforts made, it is now generally accepted that the gut microbiota is a dynamically changing population, whose composition is influenced by the hosts' health conditions and lifestyles. Diet is one of the major contributors to shaping the gut microbiota. The components in the diets vary in different countries, religions, and populations. Some special diets have been adopted by people for hundreds of years aiming for better health, while the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Recent studies based on volunteers or diet-treated animals demonstrated that diets can greatly and rapidly change the gut microbiota. The unique pattern of the nutrients from the diets and their metabolites produced by the gut microbiota has been linked with the occurrence of diseases, including obesity, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, neural diseases, and more. This review will summarize the recent progress and current understanding of the effects of different dietary patterns on the composition of gut microbiota, bacterial metabolites, and their effects on the host's metabolism.

Keywords: Diets; Gut microbiota; Metabolic diseases; Metabolites; Nutrients.

Publication types

  • Review