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Does the Gut Microbiota Contribute to Obesity? Going beyond the Gut Feeling

by Marisol Aguirre 1,2,3 and Koen Venema 1,4,*
Top Institute of Food and Nutrition, P.O. Box 557, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), P.O. Box 360, 3700 AJ Zeist, The Netherlands
Beneficial Microbes Consultancy, Johan Karschstraat 3, 6709 TN Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carl Gordon Johnston
Microorganisms 2015, 3(2), 213-235;
Received: 5 March 2015 / Revised: 5 April 2015 / Accepted: 17 April 2015 / Published: 27 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Gut Microbiota Metabolic Interactions)
Increasing evidence suggests that gut microbiota is an environmental factor that plays a crucial role in obesity. However, the aetiology of obesity is rather complex and depends on different factors. Furthermore, there is a lack of consensus about the exact role that this microbial community plays in the host. The aim of this review is to present evidence about what has been characterized, compositionally and functionally, as obese gut microbiota. In addition, the different reasons explaining the so-far unclear role are discussed considering evidence from in vitro, animal and human studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; gut microbiota; microbial ecology; energy balance; metabolism obesity; gut microbiota; microbial ecology; energy balance; metabolism
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Aguirre, M.; Venema, K. Does the Gut Microbiota Contribute to Obesity? Going beyond the Gut Feeling. Microorganisms 2015, 3, 213-235.

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