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Gut microbiota composition and its effects on obesity and insulin resistance

Caricilli, Andrea M.; Saad, Mario J.A.

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care: July 2014 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 312–318
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000067
GENES AND CELL METABOLISM: Edited by Philip Newsholme and Paulo Ivo Homem de Bittencourt Jr

Purpose of review Rising evidence suggest that variation in the gut microbiome at gene and species levels defines subsets of individuals who have increased risk of obesity-related metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which is influenced by diet and genetic profile of the host. Our goal in this review is gathering the newest findings concerning gut microbiota composition and effects on host's metabolism.

Recent findings Dietary changes have been shown as the most prominent shaper of gut microbiota composition, reflecting major phenotypes, which can also be transmitted to other individuals, in spite of genetic variances. Gut microbiota composition has also been presented as diversity, which may have important implications in metabolite production and consequent interference with inflammatory activation, insulin resistance, and obesity.

Summary Specific approaches made it possible to comprehend some of the interactions between certain bacterial strains and their host, and how their metabolites may interfere with host's cell signaling, changing its metabolic profile. Herein, we discuss some of the mechanisms by which alterations in the gut microbiota composition may contribute to the pathophysiology of obesity and its related co-morbities.

Department of Internal Medicine, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Sau Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence to Mario J.A. Saad, MD, Departamento de Clínica Médica, FCM-UNICAMP, Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz, Campinas, Sau Paulo 13081-970, Brazil. Fax: +55 19 35218950; e-mail:

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