Gut microbiome and its role in obesity and insulin resistance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Obesity is a complex metabolic disease caused, in part, by the interaction between an individual's genetics, metabolism, and environment. Emerging evidence supports the role of gut microbiota in mediating the interaction between the host and environment by extracting energy from food otherwise indigestible by the host and producing metabolites and cytokines that affect host metabolism. Furthermore, gut microbial imbalance or dysbiosis has been shown in metabolic diseases including obesity, and recent studies are beginning to unravel the mechanisms involved. The gut microbiota affects host metabolism and obesity through several pathways involving gut barrier integrity, production of metabolites affecting satiety and insulin resistance, epigenetic factors, and metabolism of bile acids and subsequent changes in metabolic signaling. While the field of gut microbiome and its role in obesity is early in its stage of development, it holds a promising future in providing us with novel therapeutic targets that may restore the gut microbiome to a healthy state and help in the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-52
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • gut microbiome
  • insulin resistance
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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