Potential mediators linking gut bacteria to metabolic health: A critical view

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests that the bacteria present in our gut may play a role in mediating the effect of genetics and lifestyle on obesity and metabolic diseases. Most of the current literature on gut bacteria consists of cross-sectional and correlative studies, rendering it difficult to make any causal inferences as to the influence of gut bacteria on obesity and related metabolic disorders. Interventions with germ-free animals, treatment with antibiotic agents, and microbial transfer experiments have provided some evidence that disturbances in gut bacteria may causally contribute to obesity-related insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation. Several potential mediators have been hypothesized to link the activity and composition of gut bacteria to insulin resistance and adipose tissue function, including lipopolysaccharide, angiopoietin-like protein 4, bile acids and short-chain fatty acids. In this review we critically evaluate the current evidence related to the direct role of gut bacteria in obesity-related metabolic perturbations, with a focus on insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation. It is concluded that the knowledge base in support of a role for the gut microbiota in metabolic regulation and in particular insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation needs to be strengthened.

LanguageEnglish
Pages477-487
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume595
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

Bacteria
Insulin Resistance
Adipose Tissue
Health
Obesity
Inflammation
Angiopoietins
Knowledge Bases
Volatile Fatty Acids
Metabolic Diseases
Bile Acids and Salts
Lipopolysaccharides
Life Style
Cross-Sectional Studies
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Proteins

Keywords

  • Adipose tissue inflammation
  • Angiopoietin-like protein 4
  • Bile acids
  • Gut bacteria
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Short-chain fatty acids

Cite this

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Potential mediators linking gut bacteria to metabolic health : A critical view. / Janssen, Aafke W.F.; Kersten, Sander.

In: Journal of Physiology, Vol. 595, No. 2, 2017, p. 477-487.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - Growing evidence suggests that the bacteria present in our gut may play a role in mediating the effect of genetics and lifestyle on obesity and metabolic diseases. Most of the current literature on gut bacteria consists of cross-sectional and correlative studies, rendering it difficult to make any causal inferences as to the influence of gut bacteria on obesity and related metabolic disorders. Interventions with germ-free animals, treatment with antibiotic agents, and microbial transfer experiments have provided some evidence that disturbances in gut bacteria may causally contribute to obesity-related insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation. Several potential mediators have been hypothesized to link the activity and composition of gut bacteria to insulin resistance and adipose tissue function, including lipopolysaccharide, angiopoietin-like protein 4, bile acids and short-chain fatty acids. In this review we critically evaluate the current evidence related to the direct role of gut bacteria in obesity-related metabolic perturbations, with a focus on insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation. It is concluded that the knowledge base in support of a role for the gut microbiota in metabolic regulation and in particular insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation needs to be strengthened.

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