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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 979515, 9 pages
Review Article

Gut Microbiota: Association with NAFLD and Metabolic Disturbances

Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Centro Hospitalar São João, Institute for Research and Innovation in Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Alameda Professor Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal

Received 3 November 2014; Accepted 7 January 2015

Academic Editor: Maria Carmen Collado

Copyright © 2015 E. Lau et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the hepatic expression of metabolic syndrome, being frequently associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. Recent lines of evidence have demonstrated a role of gut microbiota in insulin resistance, obesity, and associated metabolic disturbances, raising the interest in its relationship with NAFLD pathogenesis. Therefore, intestinal microbiota has emerged as a potential factor involved in NAFLD, through different pathways, including its influence in energy storage, lipid and choline metabolism, ethanol production, immune balance, and inflammation. The main objective of this review is to address the pathogenic association of gut microbiota to NAFLD. This comprehension may allow the development of integrated strategies to modulate intestinal microbiota in order to treat NAFLD.