Gut Microbiota and Short Chain Fatty Acids: Implications in Glucose Homeostasis

Piero Portincasa, Leonilde Bonfrate, Mirco Vacca, Maria De Angelis, Ilaria Farella, Elisa Lanza, Mohamad Khalil, David Q.H. Wang, Markus Sperandio, Agostino Di Ciaula

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

244 Scopus citations


Gut microbiota encompasses a wide variety of commensal microorganisms consisting of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This microbial population coexists in symbiosis with the host, and related metabolites have profound effects on human health. In this respect, gut microbiota plays a pivotal role in the regulation of metabolic, endocrine, and immune functions. Bacterial metabolites include the short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) acetate (C2), propionate (C3), and butyrate (C4), which are the most abundant SCFAs in the human body and the most abundant anions in the colon. SCFAs are made from fermentation of dietary fiber and resistant starch in the gut. They modulate several metabolic pathways and are involved in obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Thus, diet might influence gut microbiota composition and activity, SCFAs production, and metabolic effects. In this narrative review, we discuss the relevant research focusing on the relationship between gut microbiota, SCFAs, and glucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1105
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Bacteria
  • Diet
  • Fiber
  • Glucose homeostasis
  • Intestine
  • Metabolome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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