1Department of Pediatrics (Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology), UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, Cleveland, OH, USA. S.Sankararaman@UHhospitals.org.
2Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA.
3Department of Pediatrics (Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology), UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, Cleveland, OH, USA.
4Department of Surgery, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR, USA.
Purpose of review: The prevalence of overweight and obesity has been increasing worldwide at an alarming rate. Gut microbiota intimately influence host energy metabolism, and immune response. Studies indicate a prominent role of gut dysbiosis in propagating inflammation that is associated with the development of obesity and obesity-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This article will review the current literature on gut microbiome and its impact on obesity and obesity-related disorders.
Recent findings: An altered gut microbial composition in obesity and obesity-related disorders is associated with enhanced energy extraction from the non-digestible dietary carbohydrates, increased gut permeability, increased production of proinflammatory metabolites, such as lipopolysaccharides, resulting in systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. Gut microbiota modulation can be achieved either by dietary manipulation or by administration of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and/or fecal microbiota transplantation aiming at the improvement of the gut dysbiosis in obesity and metabolic disorders. Further clinical trials are required to better elucidate the dose, and frequency of these interventions and also their long-term impact on host metabolism.