Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 42, Issue 9, pp 1011–1018 | Cite as

Gut microbiome and microbial metabolites: a new system affecting metabolic disorders

  • M. FedericiEmail author
Short Review



The gut microbiome is emerging as an important player in the field of metabolic disorders.

Materials and methods

Currently, several studies are ongoing to determine whether the effect of gut microbiome on obesity, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and other metabolic diseases is determined by singular species or rather by a functional role of bacterial metabolism at higher taxonomical level. Deciphering if a single or more species are responsible for metabolic traits or rather microbial metabolic pathways are responsible for effects on host metabolism may help to identify appropriate dietary interventions to support microbial functions according to the prevalent host disease. Furthermore, the combination of metagenomics and metabolomics-based signature might be applied in the future to improve the risk prediction in healthy subjects.


In this review, I will summarize the current findings regarding the role of gut microbiome and metabolites in metabolic disorders to argue whether the current achievements may be translated into clinical practice.


Gut microbiome Diabetes Obesity Metagenomics Metabolomics 



This review isbased on the Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) career award lecture. M.F. work related to this manuscript was in part funded by EU-FP7 FLORINASH (Health-F2-2009-241913), Ministry of University (MIUR) Progetti di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale (PRIN) protocol number 2015MPESJS_004, Ministry of Health Ricerca Finalizzata RF-2011-02349921, Fondazione Roma call for Non-Communicable Diseases NCD 2014. The author thanks Dr. Carla Pietrini for editorial assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author is co-inventor on pending patents held by INSERM Transfert, INSERM, University of Rome Tor Vergata, University of Girona and Imperial College on NAFLD diagnostics and has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries related to NAFLD diagnostics.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

No informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Systems MedicineUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly

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