Current understanding of microbiota- and dietary-therapies for treating inflammatory bowel disease

Taekil Eom, Yong Sung Kim, Chang Hwan Choi, Michael J. Sadowsky, Tatsuya Unno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a result of chronic inflammation caused, in some part, by dysbiosis of intestinal microbiota, mainly commensal bacteria. Gut dysbiosis can be caused by multiple factors, including abnormal immune responses which might be related to genetic susceptibility, infection, western dietary habits, and administration of antibiotics. Consequently, the disease itself is characterized as having multiple causes, etiologies, and severities. Recent studies have identified >200 IBD risk loci in the host. It has been postulated that gut microbiota interact with these risk loci resulting in dysbiosis, and this subsequently leads to the development of IBD. Typical gut microbiota in IBD patients are characterized with decrease in species richness and many of the commensal, and beneficial, fecal bacteria such as Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes and an increase or bloom of Proteobacteria. However, at this time, cause and effect relationships have not been rigorously established. While treatments of IBD usually includes medications such as corticosteroids, 5-aminosalicylates, antibiotics, immunomodulators, and anti-TNF agents, restoration of gut dysbiosis seems to be a safer and more sustainable approach. Bacteriotherapies (now called microbiota therapies) and dietary interventions are effective way to modulate gut microbiota. In this review, we summarize factors involved in IBD and studies attempted to treat IBD with probiotics. We also discuss the potential use of microbiota therapies as one promising approach in treating IBD. As therapies based on the modulation of gut microbiota becomes more common, future studies should include individual gut microbiota differences to develop personalized therapy for IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Sustainable Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) at Jeju National University for providing the experimental facilities. This research was supported, in part, by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2016R1A6A1A03012862) and by the Traditional Culture Convergence Research Program through the NRF, and funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2016M3C1B5907205) to (TU). We also thank the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station for support (to MJS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • dysbiosis
  • gut microbiota
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • prebiotics
  • probiotics
  • short chain fatty acids

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Current understanding of microbiota- and dietary-therapies for treating inflammatory bowel disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this