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The authors review how alterations in the intestinal microbiome play a role in developing metabolic diseases. In murine models, fecal microbiota transplantation from obese mice to lean mice resulted in higher weight gain among the lean mice. In addition, mice subjected to high-fat diets had similar intestinal microbiota, and mice receiving low-fat diets had similar intestinal microbiota; these two groups of mice had major differences in their microbiota when compared. These differences, in turn, were shown to affect cholesterol absorption as well as lipid metabolism and regulation.
Molecular and functional mechanisms of intestinal microbiota regarding weight gain, lipid metabolism, and insulin resistance have been studied in murine models, but the findings are difficult to translate to humans and therefore to therapeutic approaches.
– Judy A. Trieu, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Changes in the intestinal microbiome have been associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes, in epidemiological studies and studies of the effects of fecal transfer in germ-free mice. We review the mechanisms by which alterations in the intestinal microbiome contribute to development of metabolic diseases, and recent advances, such as the effects of the microbiome on lipid metabolism. Strategies have been developed to modify the intestinal microbiome and reverse metabolic alterations, which might be used as therapies. We discuss approaches that have shown effects in mouse models of obesity and metabolic disorders, and how these might be translated to humans to improve metabolic health.