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Contribution of the gut microbiota to the regulation of host metabolism and energy balance: a focus on the gut–liver axis

  • N. M. Delzenne (a1), C. Knudsen (a1) (a2), M. Beaumont (a1) (a2), J. Rodriguez (a1), A. M. Neyrinck (a1) and L. B. Bindels (a1)...


This review presents mechanistic studies performed in vitro and in animal models, as well as data obtained in patients that contribute to a better understanding of the impact of nutrients interacting with the gut microbiota on metabolic and behavioural alterations linked to obesity. The gut microbiota composition and function are altered in several pathological conditions including obesity and related diseases i.e. non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD). The gut–liver axis is clearly influenced by alterations of the gut barrier that drives inflammation. In addition, recent papers propose that specific metabolites issued from the metabolic cooperation between the gut microbes and host enzymes, modulate inflammation and gene expression in the liver. This review illustrates how dietary intervention with prebiotics or probiotics influences host energy metabolism and inflammation. Indeed, intervention studies are currently underway in obese and NAFLD patients to unravel the relevance of the changes in gut microbiota composition in the management of metabolic and behavioural disorders by nutrients interacting with the gut microbiota. In conclusion, diet is among the main triggers of NAFLD and the gut microbiota is modified accordingly, underlining the importance of the concomitant study of the nutrients and microbial impact on liver health and metabolism, in order to propose innovative, clinically relevant, therapeutic approaches.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: N. M. Delzenne, email


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