Obesity promoting or microbiome altering

The review authors analyzed research surrounding metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes with gut dysbiosis.

They propose that the dysregulation of the gut barrier increases inflammation, which can lead to chronic conditions and a tendency to gain fat, which is a key precursor to the development of type 2 diabetes.

While this review does not establish causation, the authors suggest the link between the Western diet and metabolic syndrome can be explained by both the direct impact of the diet’s poor nutrient qualities on systemic inflammation and obesity and also the resulting changes to the gut microbiota from consuming these foods, which indirectly contributes to these health issues.

Hasan Zaki, PhD, associate professor at UT Southwestern Medical School, who studies the molecular mechanisms of inflammatory disorders and was not involved in this research, told Medical News Today that the alteration of the microbiome could be a separate mechanism underpinning the development of some chronic diseases.

“Previously, it was considered that […] [in a] high fat-diet, […] fat and sugar are bad for our health, because they directly alter our body’s metabolism,“ he noted.

“[This type of diet] helps to increase our cholesterol level in the blood, and ultimately […] is bad for the health because cholesterol leads to heart disease and many other complications. And as a consequence, diabetes, and metabolic disorder [develop]. But there are a lot of studies showing that the diet not only alters metabolism but also it shifts the microbiome composition.”

– Hasan Zaki, PhD

The review was helpful to aid our understanding as while lots of links have been made between the microbiome and certain condition, “but we don’t know exactly what particular bacteria or what particular component or their metabolic products are responsible for,“ Zaki cautioned.