Colonic bacterial metabolites and human health

Wendy R. Russell, Lesley Hoyles, Harry J. Flint*, Marc Emmanuel Dumas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

278 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of the microbial-mammalian metabolic axis is becoming increasingly important for human health. Bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates (CHOs) and proteins produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and a range of other metabolites including those from aromatic amino acid (AAA) fermentation. SCFA influence host health as energy sources and via multiple signalling mechanisms. Bacterial transformation of fibre-related phytochemicals is associated with a reduced incidence of several chronic diseases. The 'gut-liver axis' is an emerging area of study. Microbial deconjugation of xenobiotics and release of aromatic moieties into the colon can have a wide range of physiological consequences. In addition, the role of the gut microbiota in choline deficiency in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance is receiving increased attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Bibliographical note

LH is funded by EU-FP7 METACARDIS (HEALTH-F4-2012-305312), M-E.D. is funded by Nestlé, Institut Mérieux and EU-FP7 (METACARDIS). HF and WR acknowledge support from the Scottish Government (RESAS).


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