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Establishing the role of diet in the microbiota–disease axis

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 25 March 2019

This article has been updated

In 2018, key studies shaped the way we think about environmental factors and their influence on the gut microbiota. These data highlight a new-found appreciation for the role of diet in modifying the gut microbiome and fortifying the intestinal barrier, which ultimately might lead to better treatments for chronic metabolic diseases.

Key advances

  • Using a high-fibre diet to target short-chain fatty acid producers in the gut microbiota could assist type 2 diabetes management2.

  • Defects in the mucous layer of mice fed a Western-style diet are mediated by gut bacteria and can be rescued by faecal microbiota transplant from chow-fed mice or by prebiotic or probiotic treatment4.

  • Environmental factors such as sharing a household play a major part in shaping microbiome composition, with a relatively minor contribution by host genetics7.

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Fig. 1: Host–diet–microbiota interplay.

Change history

  • 25 March 2019

    In the version of this article published online and in print, the intestinal epithelial barrier depicted in Fig. 1 was drawn incorrectly with the cells oriented in the wrong direction. This error has been corrected for the HTML and PDF versions of the article.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Raylene A. Reimer.

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Competing interests

The author has previously received travel support and honoraria from Beneo GmbH.

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Reimer, R.A. Establishing the role of diet in the microbiota–disease axis. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 16, 86–87 (2019).

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