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The microbiota-gut-bone axis and bone health

Ye Tu 1 2Ran Yang 1 3Xin Xu 1 2Xuedong Zhou 1 2

J Leukoc Biol. 2021 Apr 22.doi: 10.1002/JLB.3MR0321-755R. 


The gastrointestinal tract is colonized by trillions of microorganisms, consisting of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, known as the «second gene pool» of the human body. In recent years, the microbiota-gut-bone axis has attracted increasing attention in the field of skeletal health/disorders. The involvement of gut microbial dysbiosis in multiple bone disorders has been recognized. The gut microbiota regulates skeletal homeostasis through its effects on host metabolism, immune function, and hormonal secretion. Owing to the essential role of the gut microbiota in skeletal homeostasis, novel gut microbiota-targeting therapeutics, such as probiotics and prebiotics, have been proven effective in preventing bone loss. However, more well-controlled clinical trials are still needed to evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of these ecologic modulators in the treatment of bone disorders.