COMMENTARY

The Gut-Liver Axis and NAFLD: Clarifying the Link

William F. Balistreri, MD

Disclosures

December 11, 2013

In This Article

Microbiota-Host Interactions

With the enhanced knowledge of the gut-liver axis and the mechanisms involved in the interactions between the microbiota and its host, there are new opportunities for the development of prevention and management strategies for obesity and related diseases.[21] Interventions or strategies to modulate the microbiota will clearly not substitute for the established modality of lifestyle changes (diet and exercise). However antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, symbiotics, genetically modified bacteria, and microbiota transplantation could favorably modulate the microbiota.[22,23]

In an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, Loscalzo[24] stated that "the meta-organism comprising humans and their microbiota must be viewed as a self-contained unit of complex molecular mediators interacting with its environment to yield a functional phenotype or, in cases of dysfunction, a pathophenotype. In light of this new model, disease can never be viewed in quite the same way, nor should it."

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