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The Gut Microbiome: a New Frontier in Musculoskeletal Research

R Li  1 , C G Boer  1 , L Oei  1   2   3 , Carolina Medina-Gomez  4

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2021 Apr 17. doi: 10.1007/s11914-021-00675-x. Online ahead of print.

Purpose of the review: The human gut harbors a complex community of microbes that influence many processes regulating musculoskeletal development and homeostasis. This review gives an update on the current knowledge surrounding the impact of the gut microbiota on musculoskeletal health, with an emphasis on research conducted over the last three years.

 Recent findings: The gut microbiota and their metabolites are associated with sarcopenia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The field is moving fast from describing simple correlations to pursue establishing causation through clinical trials. The gut microbiota and their microbial-synthesized metabolites hold promise for offering new potential alternatives for the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases given its malleability and response to environmental stimuli.