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J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Oct;60:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2018.03.006. Epub 2018 Mar 16.

The role of the gut microbiota in the pathology and prevention of liver disease.

Author information

1
Obesity and Digestive Diseases Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, Puente de Piedra 150, Toriello Guerra Tlalpan, C.P. 14050, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address: aaltamiranobarrera@gmail.com.
2
Obesity and Digestive Diseases Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, Puente de Piedra 150, Toriello Guerra Tlalpan, C.P. 14050, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address: muribe@medicasur.org.mx.
3
Obesity and Digestive Diseases Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, Puente de Piedra 150, Toriello Guerra Tlalpan, C.P. 14050, Mexico City, Mexico; Translational Research Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, Puente de Piedra 150, Toriello Guerra Tlalpan, C.P. 14050, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address: nchavezt@medicasur.org.mx.
4
Translational Research Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, Puente de Piedra 150, Toriello Guerra Tlalpan, C.P. 14050, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address: nnunol@medicasur.org.mx.

Abstract

Several microorganisms belonging to the intestinal microbiota act in an ecosystem responsible for maintaining the homeostasis and vital functions of human beings. From birth to old age the diversity of the intestinal microbiota may change due to environmental factors such as nutrition, immunity, diseases or the use of antibiotics leading to dysbiosis. Improvement in microbiota diversity can be achieved by modifying related risk factors through changes in lifestyle and a healthy diet. Besides, the addition of probiotics, prebiotics or the combination of both (symbiotics), can result in the improvement of the intestinal permeability, inflammatory pathways and the immune system. Also, the use of probiotics prevents harmful bacteria and their derived products (e.g., bacteriocins, endotoxins, hydrogen sulfide, etc.) to leak through the intestinal wall to the circulation that results in the activation of signaling pathways that may be implicated in liver disease. The liver receives a constant flow of noxious entities that promote inflammation and oxidative stress. The use of probiotics with clinical evidence in liver disease, represent a novel therapeutic alternative, inducing positive changes in the balance of the intestinal microbiota which lead to improvement in liver function tests (AST and ALT), decreasing tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), andblood cholesterol, among other risk factors. In this review, we discuss the main elements that play a leading role in the development of steatosis as well as the benefits of using probiotics and the impact in the quality of life of patients that develop cirrhosis.

KEYWORDS:

Dysbiosis; liver disease; microbiota; prebiotics and probiotics

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