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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 986734, 13 pages
Review Article

Influence of Gut Microbiota on Subclinical Inflammation and Insulin Resistance

Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medical Sciences, FCM, UNICAMP, Rua Tessália Vieira de Camargo, 126 Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz, 13083-887 Campinas, SP, Brazil

Received 3 April 2013; Accepted 16 May 2013

Academic Editor: Massimo Collino

Copyright © 2013 Bruno Melo Carvalho and Mario Jose Abdalla Saad. 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.


Obesity is the main condition that is correlated with the appearance of insulin resistance, which is the major link among its comorbidities, such as type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, and several types of cancer. Obesity affects a large number of individuals worldwide; it degrades human health and quality of life. Here, we review the role of the gut microbiota in the pathophysiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is promoted by a bacterial diversity shift mediated by overnutrition. Whole bacteria, their products, and metabolites undergo increased translocation through the gut epithelium to the circulation due to degraded tight junctions and the consequent increase in intestinal permeability that culminates in inflammation and insulin resistance. Several strategies focusing on modulation of the gut microbiota (antibiotics, probiotics, and prebiotics) are being experimentally employed in metabolic derangement in order to reduce intestinal permeability, increase the production of short chain fatty acids and anorectic gut hormones, and promote insulin sensitivity to counteract the inflammatory status and insulin resistance found in obese individuals.