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Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Mar 7;15(3):4158-88. doi: 10.3390/ijms15034158.

Modulation of gut microbiota in the management of metabolic disorders: the prospects and challenges.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. erejuwa@gmail.com.
2
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. sbsamrah@kb.usm.my.
3
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. msuhaimi@kb.usm.my.

Abstract

The gut microbiota plays a number of important roles including digestion, metabolism, extraction of nutrients, synthesis of vitamins, prevention against pathogen colonization, and modulation of the immune system. Alterations or changes in composition and biodiversity of the gut microbiota have been associated with many gastrointestinal tract (GIT) disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Recent evidence suggests that altered composition and diversity of gut microbiota may play a role in the increased prevalence of metabolic diseases. This review article has two main objectives. First, it underscores approaches (such as probiotics, prebiotics, antimicrobial agents, bariatric surgery, and weight loss strategies) and their prospects in modulating the gut microbiota in the management of metabolic diseases. Second, it highlights some of the current challenges and discusses areas of future research as it relates to the gut microbiota and metabolic diseases. The prospect of modulating the gut microbiota seems promising. However, considering that research investigating the role of gut microbiota in metabolic diseases is still in its infancy, more rigorous and well-designed in vitro, animal and clinical studies are needed.

PMID:
24608927
PMCID:
PMC3975390
DOI:
10.3390/ijms15034158
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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