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Cell Biosci. 2017 Oct 25;7:54. doi: 10.1186/s13578-017-0183-1. eCollection 2017.

Gut microbiota as a potential target of metabolic syndrome: the role of probiotics and prebiotics.

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Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, 277 West Yanta Road, Xi'an, 710061 Shaanxi People's Republic of China.


Metabolic syndrome (MS) comprises central obesity, increased plasma glucose levels, hyperlipidemia and hypertension, and its incidence is increasing due to changes in lifestyle and dietary structure in recent years. MS has been proven to be associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus, leading to morbidity and mortality. In this manuscript, we review recent studies concerning the role of the gut microbiota in MS modulation. Manipulation of the gut microbiota through the administration of prebiotics or probiotics may assist in weight loss and reduce plasma glucose and serum lipid levels, decreasing the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus. To the best of our knowledge, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), bile salt hydrolase (BSH), metabolic endotoxemia and the endocannabinoid (eCB) system are essential in regulating the initiation and progression of MS through the normalization of adipogenesis and the regulation of insulin secretion, fat accumulation, energy homeostasis, and plasma cholesterol levels. Therefore, the gut microbiota may serve as a potential therapeutic target for MS. However, further studies are needed to enhance our understanding of manipulating the gut microbiota and the role of the gut microbiota in MS prevention and treatment.


Gut microbiota; Metabolic syndrome; Potential therapeutic target; Prebiotics; Probiotics

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