Probiotics: Interaction with gut microbiome and antiobesity potential.
Obesity is a metabolic disorder afflicting people globally. There has been a pivotal advancement in the understanding of the intestinal microbiota composition and its implication in extraintestinal (metabolic) diseases. Therefore, any agent modulating gut microbiota may produce an influential effect in preventing the pathogenesis of disease. Probiotics are live microbes that, when administered in adequate amounts, have been shown to confer health benefits to the host. Over the years, probiotics have been a part of the human diet in the form of different fermented foods consumed around the world. Their influence on different physiologic functions in the host is increasingly being documented. The antiobesity potential of probiotics is also gaining wide attention because of increasing evidence of the role of gut microbiota in energy homeostasis and fat accumulation. Probiotics have also been shown to interact with the resident bacterial members already present in the gut by altering their properties, which may also affect the metabolic pathways involved in the regulation of fat metabolism. The underlying pathways governing the antiobesity effects of probiotics remain unclear. However, it is hoped that the evidence presented and discussed in this review will encourage and thus drive more extensive research in this field. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.