Role of the Gut Microbiome in the Pathogenesis of Obesity and Obesity-Related Metabolic Dysfunction

Kristien E. Bouter, Daniël H. van Raalte, Albert K. Groen, Max Nieuwdorp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The potential role of intestinal microbiota in the etiology of various human diseases has attracted massive attention in the last decade. As such, the intestinal microbiota has been advanced as an important contributor in the development of obesity and obesity-related metabolic dysfunctions, amongst others. Experiments in animal models have produced evidence for a causal role of intestinal microbiota in the etiology of obesity and insulin resistance. However, with a few exceptions, such causal relation is lacking for humans and most publications merely report associations between intestinal microbial composition and metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Thus, the reciprocal relationship between the bacteria and these metabolic disorders remains a matter of debate. The main objective of this review is to critically assess the driving role of intestinal microbe composition in the etiology, prevention, and treatment of obesity and obesity-related metabolic dysfunction, including type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1671-1678
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

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