Iron Reshapes the Gut Microbiome and Host Metabolism Academic Article uri icon

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  • Compelling studies have established that the gut microbiome is a modifier of metabolic health. Changes in the composition of the gut microbiome are influenced by genetics and the environment, including diet. Iron is a potential node of crosstalk between the host-microbe relationship and metabolic disease. Although iron is well characterized as a frequent traveling companion of metabolic disease, the role of iron is underappreciated because the mechanisms of iron's influence on host metabolism are poorly characterized. Both iron deficiency and excessive amounts leading to iron overload can have detrimental effects on cardiometabolic health. Optimal iron homeostasis is critical for regulation of host immunity and metabolism in addition to regulation of commensal and pathogenic enteric bacteria. In this article we review evidence to support the notion that altering composition of the gut microbiome may be an important route via which iron impacts cardiometabolic health. We discuss reshaping of the microbiome by iron, the physiological significance and the potential for therapeutic interventions.


  • Botta, Amy
  • Barra, Nicole G
  • Lam, Nhat Hung
  • Chow, Samantha
  • Pantopoulos, Kostas
  • Schertzer, Jonathan
  • Sweeney, Gary

publication date

  • 2021