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Is butyrate the link between diet, intestinal microbiota and obesity-related metabolic diseases?

Authors

  • L. K. Brahe,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark
    • Address for correspondence: Lena K Brahe, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 30, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

      E-mail: lekila@life.ku.dk

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  • A. Astrup,

    1. Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark
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  • L. H. Larsen

    1. Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark
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Summary

It is increasingly recognized that there is a connection between diet, intestinal microbiota, intestinal barrier function and the low-grade inflammation that characterizes the progression from obesity to metabolic disturbances, making dietary strategies to modulate the intestinal environment relevant. In this context, the ability of some Gram-positive anaerobic bacteria to produce the short-chain fatty acid butyrate is interesting. A lower abundance of butyrate-producing bacteria has been associated with metabolic risk in humans, and recent studies suggest that butyrate might have an anti-inflammatory potential that can alleviate obesity-related metabolic complications, possibly due to its ability to enhance the intestinal barrier function.

Here, we review and discuss the potential of butyrate as an anti-inflammatory mediator in metabolic diseases, and the potential for dietary interventions increasing the intestinal availability of butyrate.

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