Background: Gut microbiota play a vital role not only in the digestion and absorption of
nutrients, but also in homeostatic maintenance of host immunity, metabolism and the gut barrier. Recent
evidence suggests that gut microbiota alterations contribute to the pathogenesis of metabolic disorders.
Objective and Method: In this review, we discuss the association between the gut microbiota and
metabolic disorders, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and
the contribution of relevant modulating interventions, focusing on recent human studies.
Results: Several studies have identified potential causal associations between gut microbiota and
metabolic disorders, as well as the underlying mechanisms. The effects of modulating interventions,
such as prebiotics, probiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation, and other new treatment possibilities on
these metabolic disorders have also been reported.
Conclusion: A growing body of evidence highlights the role of gut microbiota in the development of
dysbiosis, which in turn influences host metabolism and disease phenotypes. Further studies are required
to elucidate the precise mechanisms by which gut microbiota-derived mediators induce metabolic
disorders and modulating interventions exert their beneficial effects in humans. The gut microbiota
represents a novel potential therapeutic target for a range of metabolic disorders.