What Would You Like to Eat, Mr CKD Microbiota? A Mediterranean Diet, please!
De Angelis M
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In this review we elucidate the role of gut microbiota as the plausible missing link between food and health, focusing on chronic kidney disease (CKD). Microbiota, the microbial community harboured in the large intestine, is considered a symbiotic "supplementary organ". It contributes to digestion, mainly through two catabolic pathways: saccharolytic (fermentation) or proteolytic (putrefaction). It also interacts with host influencing immunity, metabolism, and health status. It is believed that a balanced healthy microbiota is primarily saccharolytic and diet has a deep effect on its composition. Mediterranean Diet, UNESCO "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity", prevents cardiovascular and metabolic systemic diseases, thanks to the high supply of fibres and antioxidants. Mediterranean Diet also favours the prevalence of saccharolytic species, while Western Diet promotes the shift towards a proteolytic profile (dysbiosis). Emerging evidences highlight the association between a wide range of diseases and dysbiosis. In CKD a vicious circle exists, in which proteolytic-derived microbial metabolites (p-cresol and indoxyl sulphate), represent the main circulating uremic toxins: their accumulation worsens dysbiosis and promotes CKD progression. Gut microbiota shaping through non-pharmacologic nutritional treatments, based on Mediterranean Diet, represents an innovative approach in CKD, potentially restoring microbiota balance, ameliorating CKD conditions and slowing down disease progression. Copyright (C) 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel