Phytochemicals That Influence Gut Microbiota as Prophylactics and for the Treatment of Obesity and Inflammatory Diseases.
Gut microbiota (GM) plays several crucial roles in host physiology and influences several relevant functions. In more than one respect, it can be said that you "feed your microbiota and are fed by it." GM diversity is affected by diet and influences metabolic and immune functions of the host's physiology. Consequently, an imbalance of GM, or dysbiosis, may be the cause or at least may lead to the progression of various pathologies such as infectious diseases, gastrointestinal cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, and even obesity and diabetes. Therefore, GM is an appropriate target for nutritional interventions to improve health. For this reason, phytochemicals that can influence GM have recently been studied as adjuvants for the treatment of obesity and inflammatory diseases. Phytochemicals include prebiotics and probiotics, as well as several chemical compounds such as polyphenols and derivatives, carotenoids, and thiosulfates. The largest group of these comprises polyphenols, which can be subclassified into four main groups: flavonoids (including eight subgroups), phenolic acids (such as curcumin), stilbenoids (such as resveratrol), and lignans. Consequently, in this review, we will present, organize, and discuss the most recent evidence indicating a relationship between the effects of different phytochemicals on GM that affect obesity and/or inflammation, focusing on the effect of approximately 40 different phytochemical compounds that have been chemically identified and that constitute some natural reservoir, such as potential prophylactics, as candidates for the treatment of obesity and inflammatory diseases.
Mediators Inflamm. 2018 Mar 26;2018:9734845. doi: 10.1155/2018/9734845. eCollection 2018.