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Curr Med Chem. 2017 Oct 9. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666171009121702. [Epub ahead of print]

Gut microbiota as a therapeutic target for metabolic disorders.

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Department of Molecular and Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima. Japan.
Department of Medical Chemistry, Division of Molecular Medical Science, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima. Japan.
Division of Diabetes and Metabolism, The Institute for Adult Diseases, Asahi Life Foundation, Tokyo. Japan.
Division of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo. Japan.
Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki. Japan.
Department of Clinical Cell Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba. Japan.


The prevalence of metabolic disorders has been rising worldwide, making the identification of factors affecting metabolic control more important than ever. Gut microbiota play a vital role not only in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, but also in homeostatic maintenance of host immunity, metabolism and the gut barrier. It was recently suggested that gut microbiota alterations contribute to the pathogenesis of metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes mellitus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Possible causal links between gut microbiota and these metabolic disorders, as well as the underlying mechanisms, have been the focus of both clinical and basic research. Although further studies are needed, the gut microbiota represents a novel potential therapeutic target for a range of metabolic disorders. In this review, we discuss relationships between the gut microbiota and metabolic disorders, and also promising interventions such as prebiotics, probiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation, and other new treatment possibilities, focusing especially on recent human studies.


Gut microbiota ; fecal microbiota transplantation.; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease ; obesity ; prebiotics ; probiotics ; type 2 diabetes mellitus

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