Bone and the gut microbiome: a new dimension
Our understanding of the link between the human gut microbiome and health outcomes is rapidly expanding. The different microbial communities within the human body affect cellular responses and shape many aspects of our physiology; including that of the skeletal system. Mouse models have been imperative to reveal the underlying mechanisms by which the human gut microbiome affects bone metabolism. Since the gut microbiome is influenced by modifiable factors (e.g., diet or drugs), it embodies great potential as a therapeutic target holding promise for the management of bone diseases. The purpose of the current review is to highlight the complex interplay between the gut microbiota, their metabolites and bone metabolism by presenting a compendium of a remarkable range of pre-clinical and clinical studies in the field. This review also discusses the type of studies that will be essential for translating microbiome research into successful microbiome-based medical interventions.