Over the past few years, the gut microbiota has been recognized to play a role in maintaining health and disruption in its composition can lead to pathology. In the normal healthy state, the gut microbiome serves as a barrier to invasive species by regulating intestinal permeability as well as preferentially utilizing resources and outcompeting deleterious organisms. Due to their anatomical proximity and shared vascular supply, dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract can affect the liver and vice-versa. As such, the gut microbiota has been studied in various liver disorders including non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD), cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Data shows that alteration of the gut microbiota, also known as dysbiosis, occurs in all these disorders and may be responsible for disease progression and poorer outcomes. Studies have attempted to reverse the dysbiosis state through alteration of diet, antibiotic therapy targeting harmful microbes, promoting beneficial organisms via prebiotics and probiotics, as well as faecal microbiota transplantation to completely overhaul the gut microbiome. This review will summarize the latest findings regarding the gut microbiota in obesity, NAFLD, cirrhosis, and HCC, as well as clinical trials targeting the microbiome in attempts to correct the pathologic state.
To cite this article
Microbiota and liver disease: year in review
Microb Health Dis 2021;
Submission date: 06 Jul 2021
Revised on: 12 Jul 2021
Accepted on: 20 Jul 2021
Published online: 09 Sep 2021
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