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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 May;15(3):278-84. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32835133cb.

Early gut colonization and subsequent obesity risk.

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1
Department of Pediatrics and Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02129-4404, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Early microbial colonization patterns of the human gastrointestinal tract are increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of human disease. Recently, large-scale shifts in gut microbiota have been demonstrated in both animal and human models of obesity. This review examines the latest research into the gut dysbiosis associated with an obese phenotype and considers the evidence that may link early microbial colonization patterns with subsequent obesity risk.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Studies that link microbiome modifying early life events to subsequent obesity risk provide some indirect evidence to support a causal role for gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of obesity. However, more direct evidence proving causation is currently lacking and there is no existing support for the role of specific early gut colonization patterns in later risk of obesity.

SUMMARY:

Although an obesity-associated dysbiosis is well supported by the current literature, cause and effect remain difficult to discern. Longitudinal, prospective studies that evaluate changes in gut microbial ecology over time are needed to better discern the role of specific microbial patterns in the pathogenesis of obesity. Better understanding of this relationship may lead to exciting new obesity treatment and prevention strategies in the future.

PMID:
22327336
DOI:
10.1097/MCO.0b013e32835133cb
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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