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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2016 Dec 1;311(6):G1018-G1036. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00245.2016. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Precision medicine in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease via modulating the gut microbiota.

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Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California.
Departments of Pediatrics and Computer Science and Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California; and.
Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California;
Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California.


Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represent a major health burden in industrialized countries. Although alcohol abuse and nutrition play a central role in disease pathogenesis, preclinical models support a contribution of the gut microbiota to ALD and NAFLD. This review describes changes in the intestinal microbiota compositions related to ALD and NAFLD. Findings from in vitro, animal, and human studies are used to explain how intestinal pathology contributes to disease progression. This review summarizes the effects of untargeted microbiome modifications using antibiotics and probiotics on liver disease in animals and humans. While both affect humoral inflammation, regression of advanced liver disease or mortality has not been demonstrated. This review further describes products secreted by Lactobacillus- and microbiota-derived metabolites, such as fatty acids and antioxidants, that could be used for precision medicine in the treatment of liver disease. A better understanding of host-microbial interactions is allowing discovery of novel therapeutic targets in the gut microbiota, enabling new treatment options that restore the intestinal ecosystem precisely and influence liver disease. The modulation options of the gut microbiota and precision medicine employing the gut microbiota presented in this review have excellent prospects to improve treatment of liver disease.


alcoholic liver disease; intestinal microbiome; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; precision medicine; probiotics

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