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Curr Med Chem. 2017 Apr 27. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666170428103848. [Epub ahead of print]

The food-gut human axis: the effects of diet on gut microbiota and metabolome.

Author information

1
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Science - University of Bari Aldo Moro Bari, Italy.
2
University of Bari Medical School - Department of Emergency and Organ Transplants, section of Endocrinology, Andrology and Metabolic Diseases, Bari, Italy.
3
Clinica Medica "A. Murri", Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari Medical School, Bari Italy Murri".
4
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bolzano, Italy.

Abstract

Gut microbiota, the largest symbiont community hosted in human organism, is emerging as a pivotal player in the relationship between dietary habits and health. Oral and, especially, intestinal microbes metabolize dietary components, affecting human health by producing harmful or beneficial metabolites, which are involved in the incidence and progression of several intestinal related and non-related diseases. Habitual diet (Western, Agrarian and Mediterranean omnivore diets, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets) drives the composition of the gut microbiota and metabolome. Within the dietary components, polymers (mainly fibers, proteins, fat and polyphenols) that are not hydrolyzed by human enzymes seem to be the main leads of the metabolic pathways of gut microbiota, which in turn directly influences the human metabolome. Specific relationships between diet and microbes, microbes and metabolites, microbes and immune functions and microbes and/or their metabolites and some human diseases are being established. Dietary treatments with fibers are the most effective to benefit the metabolome profile, by improving the synthesis of short chain fatty acids and decreasing the level of molecules, such as p-cresyl sulfate, indoxyl sulfate and trimethylamine N-oxide, involved in disease state. Based on the axis diet-microbiota-health, this review aims at describing the most recent knowledge oriented towards a profitable use of diet to provide benefits to human health, both directly and indirectly, through the activity of gut microbiota.

KEYWORDS:

Gut microbiota; diet; dietary fibers; fat; metabolome ; polyphenols; probiotics; protein

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