Significance of microbiota in obesity and metabolic diseases and the modulatory potential by medicinal plant and food ingredients

Hoda M. Eid, Michelle L. Wright, V. A. Kumar, Abdel Qawasmeh, Sherif T.S. Hassan, Andrei Mocan, Seyed M. Nabavi, Luca Rastrelli, Atanas G. Atanasov, Pierre S. Haddad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Citations (SciVal)


Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of three or more metabolic disorders including insulin resistance, obesity, and hyperlipidemia. Obesity has become the epidemic of the twenty-first century with more than 1.6 billion overweight adults. Due to the strong connection between obesity and type 2 diabetes, obesity has received wide attention with subsequent coining of the term "diabesity." Recent studies have identified unique contributions of the immensely diverse gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of obesity and diabetes. Several mechanisms have been proposed including altered glucose and fatty acid metabolism, hepatic fatty acid storage, and modulation of glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1. Importantly, the relationship between unhealthy diet and a modified gut microbiota composition observed in diabetic or obese subjects has been recognized. Similarly, the role of diet rich in polyphenols and plant polysaccharides in modulating gut bacteria and its impact on diabetes and obesity have been the subject of investigation by several research groups. Gut microbiota are also responsible for the extensive metabolism of polyphenols thus modulating their biological activities. The aim of this review is to shed light on the composition of gut microbes, their health importance and how they can contribute to diseases as well as their modulation by polyphenols and polysaccharides to control obesity and diabetes. In addition, the role of microbiota in improving the oral bioavailability of polyphenols and hence in shaping their antidiabetic and antiobesity activities will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number387
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Issue numberJUN
Publication statusPublished - 30-06-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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