Interactions between gut microbiota, food and the obese host

Teresa Requena, Paul Cotter, Danit R. Shahar, Charlotte R. Kleiveland, M. Carmen Martínez-Cuesta, Carmen Peláez, Tor Lea

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The recent research focus on the human microbiota has provided data which suggests that the composition of the gut microbiota can play an important role in the modulation of body weight and of related mucosal and systemic immune responses. However, recent results from human and animal studies have raised the debate about whether specific microbial groups play a causative role in obesity or if the gut microbiota is modulated in response to diet or the obese state itself. Studies targeting selective alterations in the gut microbiota to control weight gain through the intake of probiotics and/or prebiotics or modulating undesirable populations through the use of antimicrobials or transplantation of faecal microbiota have provided promising results. Nonetheless, further placebo-controlled, double blind human studies are still required. Likewise, while it is now well accepted that obesity is followed by a low grade inflammatory response, more research studies are needed to unravel the mechanisms that would explain how different microbiota profiles affect the mucosal and systemic immune responsiveness, the intestinal barrier function and the development of adiposity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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