Gut microbiota and its metabolites: Bridge of dietary nutrients and obesity-related diseases

Min Zhou, Lee J. Johnston, Chaodong Wu, Xi Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


While the incidence of obesity keeps increasing in both adults and children worldwide, obesity and its complications remain major threatens to human health. Over the past decades, accumulating evidence has demonstrated the importance of microorganisms and their metabolites in the pathogenesis of obesity and related diseases. There also is a significant body of evidence validating the efficacy of microbial based therapies for managing various diseases. In this review, we collected the key information pertinent to obesity-related bacteria, fermentation substrates and major metabolites generated by studies involving humans and/or mice. We then briefly described the possible molecular mechanisms by which microorganisms cause or inhibit obesity with a focus on microbial metabolites. Lastly, we summarized the advantages and disadvantages of the utilization of probiotics, plant extracts, and exercise in controlling obesity. We speculated that new targets and combined approaches (e.g. diet combined with exercise) could lead to more precise prevention and/or alleviation of obesity in future clinical research implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3236-3253
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31930106, 31829004 and 31722054), the 2115 Talent Development Program of China Agricultural University (1041-0010919), the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFD0500601 and 2017YFD0500501) and the National Ten-thousand Talents Program of China (2307201). Our profound admiration and respect go to researchers in this field and in our laboratories, for their dedication and hard work. We apologize to scientists whose work is in this field if their papers are not cited owing to space limitations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Microbiota
  • exercise
  • mechanisms
  • plant extracts
  • probiotics

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Review
  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Gut microbiota and its metabolites: Bridge of dietary nutrients and obesity-related diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this