Importance of gut microbiota in obesity


Recently, a number of studies have related the development of highly prevalent disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity to gut microbiota. Obesity itself have been associated with modifications in gut microbiota composition, and a tendency towards an overgrowth of microorganisms that obtain more efficient energy from diet. It's capacity to decompose the polysaccharides that can not be digested by the host, increase monosaccharide and short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production. However, the increase in fat mass is not only due to a more efficient harvest of energy, but also the microbiota participates in changes in endotoxemia, bowel permeability, insulin resistance, hormonal environment, expression of genes regulating lipogenesis, interaction with bile acids, as well as changes in the proportion of brown adipose tissue, and effects associated with the use of drugs such as metformin. Currently, use of prebiotics and probiotics and other innovative techniques like antibiotic therapy or gut microbiota transplant, has been proposed as suitable tools to control the development of metabolic diseases such as obesity or insulin resistance through the diet.

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Authors wish to thank FIMABIS for their collaboration, and we also gratefully acknowledge the help of Maria Repice for her language expertise in preparing this manuscript.


This work was supported in part by grants from the Institute of Health Carlos III (PI15/01114) and Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise of the Junta de Andalucía (CTS-8181). ICP is the recipient of a postdoctoral grant (Rio Hortega CM 17/00169) and AMG is recipient of a Juan Rodes grant (JR 17/00023) from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. This study has been co-funded by FEDER funds. This article is published as part of a supplement sponsored by the Mediterranean Diet Foundation and the Diputació de Barcelona.

Author contributions

ICP and AMG wrote the manuscript, researched data, contributed to the discussion, and reviewed and edited the manuscript. ICP and AMG contributed equally to this manuscript. MCP contributed to the discussion, critically edited and reviewed the manuscript. FJT contributed to discussion, and reviewed and edited the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Francisco J. Tinahones.

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Cornejo-Pareja, I., Muñoz-Garach, A., Clemente-Postigo, M. et al. Importance of gut microbiota in obesity. Eur J Clin Nutr 72, 26–37 (2019).

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