Personal diet-microbiota interactions and weight loss

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

The aim of this review is to provide an overview of how person-specific interactions between diet and the gut microbiota could play a role in affecting diet-induced weight loss responses. The highly person-specific gut microbiota, which is shaped by our diet, secretes digestive enzymes and molecules that affect digestion in the colon. Therefore, weight loss responses could in part depend on personal colonic fermentation responses, which affect energy extraction of food and production of microbial metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which exert various effects on host metabolism. Colonic fermentation is the net result of the complex interplay between availability of dietary substrates, the functional capacity of the gut microbiome and environmental (abiotic) factors in the gut such as pH and transit time. While animal studies have demonstrated that the gut microbiota can causally affect obesity, causal and mechanistic evidence from human studies is still largely lacking. However, recent human studies have proposed that the baseline gut microbiota composition may predict diet-induced weight loss-responses. In particular, individuals characterised by high relative abundance of Prevotella have been found to lose more weight on diets rich in dietary fibre compared to individuals with low Prevotella abundance. Although harnessing of personal diet-microbiota interactions holds promise for more personalised nutrition and obesity management strategies to improve human health, there is currently insufficient evidence to unequivocally link the gut microbiota and weight loss in human subjects. To move the field forward, a greater understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of personal diet-microbiota interactions is needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Nutrition Society
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)243-254
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe Nutrition Society Winter Conference 2021: Obesity and the Brain - The Royal Society, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Dec 20218 Dec 2021


ConferenceThe Nutrition Society Winter Conference 2021
LocationThe Royal Society
CountryUnited Kingdom

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Personalised nutrition, Gut microbiome, Obesity, Weight loss

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 300078820