Gut microbiota, nutrient sensing and energy balance

Frank A. Duca, T. K.T. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a highly specialized sensory organ that provides crucial negative feedback during a meal, partly via a gut-brain axis. More specifically, enteroendocrine cells located throughout the GI tract are able to sense and respond to specific nutrients, releasing gut peptides that act in a paracrine, autocrine or endocrine fashion to regulate energy balance, thus controlling both food intake and possibly energy expenditure. Furthermore, the gut microbiota has been shown to provide a substantial metabolic and physiological contribution to the host, and metabolic disease such as obesity has been associated with aberrant gut microbiota and microbiome. Interestingly, recent evidence suggests that the gut microbiota can impact the gut-brain axis controlling energy balance, at both the level of intestinal nutrient-sensing mechanisms, as well as potentially at the sites of integration in the central nervous system. A better understanding of the intricate relationship between the gut microbiota and host energy-regulating pathways is crucial for uncovering the mechanisms responsible for the development of metabolic diseases and for possible therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
StatePublished - 2014


  • Food intake
  • Gut peptides
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Microbiome
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Gut microbiota, nutrient sensing and energy balance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this