EDITORIAL
REVIEW

Gut microbiota and liver diseases

Masami Minemura, Yukihiro Shimizu
World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 2015 February 14, 21 (6): 1691-702
25684933
Several studies revealed that gut microbiota are associated with various human diseases, e.g., metabolic diseases, allergies, gastroenterological diseases, and liver diseases. The liver can be greatly affected by changes in gut microbiota due to the entry of gut bacteria or their metabolites into the liver through the portal vein, and the liver-gut axis is important to understand the pathophysiology of several liver diseases, especially non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatic encephalopathy. Moreover, gut microbiota play a significant role in the development of alcoholic liver disease and hepatocarcinogenesis. Based on these previous findings, trials using probiotics have been performed for the prevention or treatment of liver diseases. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the changes in gut microbiota associated with various liver diseases, and we describe the therapeutic trials of probiotics for those diseases.

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