Dietary Short Chain Fatty Acids: How the gut microbiota fight against autoimmune and inflammatory diseases

Keiran H. McLeod, James L. Richards, Yu Anne Yap, Eliana Marino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Our gut microbiota is now considered another vital organ in our body that can directly impact the development and maintenance of our immune system through the production of microbial short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These microbial metabolites can influence many other physiological processes such as metabolism and behavior as well as the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems. With diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and infections increasing in prevalence, the debate centers upon whether many diseases have a gut origin. The interplay between the intestinal immune system, the epithelial barrier, and the bacteria that reside within is fundamental to maintaining healthy gut homeostasis and determining the fate of health and disease. Many environmental factors such as diet and overexposure to antibiotics can contribute to altering the balance of commensal bacteria, subsequently compromising the availability and production of SCFAs that affect the gut and immune homeostasis. Here we are compiling the most updated and sophisticated literature on how dietary SCFAs modulate the progression of inflammatory diseases and autoimmunity.
Many epidemiological studies point out that diet is one of the most influential lifestyle factors contributing to the rise of inflammatory diseases1 and autoimmunity.2 Studies found vast differences in the gut microbial makeup when comparing the gut microbiota of individuals that traditionally consume more fiber to individuals that typically consume more processed diets.3, 4 Different communities of gut microbiota exist in a symbiotic nature whereby they process many dietary components as they require distinctive sources of nutrients. The metabolites produced by the gut microbiota as well as antigens of the gut microbiota exist in close proximity to the immune compartments of the intestinal tract wall. They are essential for the education and development of the immune networks and for maintenance of a healthy gut mucosal barrier.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Arthritis and Related Inflammatory Diseases
EditorsRonald Watson, Victor Preedy
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780128138212
ISBN (Print)9780128138205
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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