Microbiome and NAFLD: Potential Influence of Aerobic Fitness and Lifestyle Modification


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver disease with prevalence rates that are on the rise in the US and worldwide. NAFLD encompasses a spectrum of liver pathologies including simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with inflammation and fibrosis. The gut microbiome has emerged as a potential therapeutic target in combating metabolic diseases including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and NAFLD/NASH. Dietinduced obesity/Western style diet feeding causes severe microbial dysbiosis initiating a microbiome signature that promotes metabolite production that directly impacts hepatic metabolism. Changes in lifestyle (i.e., diet, exercise, and aerobic fitness) improve NAFLD outcomes and can significantly influence the microbiome. However, directly linking lifestyle-induced remodeling of the microbiome to NAFLD pathogenesis is not well understood. Understanding the reshaping of the microbiome and the metabolites produced and their subsequent actions on hepatic metabolism are vital in understanding the gut-liver axis. In this review, we 1) discuss microbiome-derived metabolites that significantly contribute to the gut-liver axis and are directly linked to NAFLD/NASH and 2) present evidence on lifestyle modifications reshaping the microbiome and the potential therapeutic aspects in combating the disease.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


This work was supported by grants from Mizzou Advantage and The Allen Foundation and was partially supported by VA-Merit Grant I01BX003271-01 (R. S. Rector). W. T. Peppler is supported by a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology. This work was supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Harry S Truman Memorial VA Hospital in Columbia, MO.

Keywords and Phrases

Lipopolysaccharide; Prebiotic agent; Probiotic agent; Actinobacteria; Aerobic exercise; Bacteroidetes; Diet induced obesity; Dysbiosis; Endotoxemia; Firmicutes; Fitness; Fusobacteria; Human; Intestine flora; Intestine mucosa permeability; Lifestyle modification; Lipid diet; Liver cancer; Metabolite; Microbial metabolism; Non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus; Nonalcoholic fatty liver; Nonhuman; Obesity; Athogenesis; Priority journal; Proteobacteria; Review; RNA sequence; Western diet; Intestine flora; Lifestyle; Microbiology; Microflora; Nonalcoholic fatty liver; Pathophysiology; Physiology; Diabetes Mellitus; Type 2; Gastrointestinal Microbiome; Humans; Life Style; Microbiota; Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Lifestyle modifications; Microbial metabolites; Microbiome; NAFLD

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Article - Journal

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© 2017 American Physiological Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2017

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