Gut microbiota – our new important organ


1Medical Faculty, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

2Medical University – Pleven, 5800 Pleven, Bulgaria

*Corresponding author  e-mail:        

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The term microbiota describes microbial populations which inhabit the body of animals and humans. The microbiota can be regarded as an extra organ (sometimes referred to as the second brain) that contributes unique functions to its host’s physiology. This complex organ affects the metabolic balance of the macro-organism by modulating energy absorption, peristalsis, appetite, metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, and fatty deposits in the liver. Short-chain fatty acids derived from fermentation of dietary fiber by anaerobic intestinal microbiota exert multiple beneficial effects on energy metabolism, intestinal permeability and innate immunity. Numerous metabolites that are present in host compartments, such as blood or urine, derive from microbial metabolism or an interplay between host and microbial metabolism. The term microbiome is used to describe the genotypes (the collective genomes of the microbiota) and contains approximately 100-fold more unique genes than the host genome. The distal gut micro-organisms are composed of billions of bacteria and archaea, yeasts and viruses. Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, which consist of more than 90% of all phylogenetic types, are the two dominant bacterial divisions in the human and mouse gut. With the emergence of  new technologies (real-time PCR), studies about the diseases related with microbiota colonization and the development of treatments against them have gained importance. Regulation of intestinal microbial ecosystem by diet modifications or by using prebiotics or probiotics could reduce intestinal low-grade inflammation and improve gut barrier integrity, thus promoting metabolic balance and weight loss. In this review we summarize available scientific data on gut microbiota – host relationship and the effect of fructose diet on this interaction, as well as intervention strategies against associated metabolic disorders.

Keywords: gut microbiota; microbiome; fructose diet.

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