A 2016 review, led by Dr. Mark S. Riddle from the Enteric Diseases Department at the Naval Research Center in Silver Spring (USA) and Dr. Bradley A. Connor from the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and The New York Center for Travel and Tropical Medicine in New York (USA) explores the role of the human gut microbiome in travellers’ health.

In a recent paper by Perry et al., researchers describe an investigation into the putative mechanisms by which gut microbiota alterations may lead to obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. Authors describe increased production of acetate by altered gut microbiota in rats. They link this to activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, higher ghrelin secretion, hyperphagia, and obesity. Thus, they point to increased acetate production as a driver of metabolic syndrome.