We conducted a scoping review to map available evidence about the health impact of gut microbiota-derived metabolites. We searched PubMed and Embase for studies that assessed the health impact of ten metabolites on any health condition: deoxycholate or deoxycholic acid (DCA), lithocholate or lithocholic acid (LCA), glycolithocholate or glycolithocholic acid, glycodeoxycholate or glycodeoxycholic acid, tryptamine, putrescine, d-alanine, urolithins, N-acetylmannosamine, and phenylacetylglutamine. We identified 352 eligible studies with 168,072 participants. Most (326, 92.6%) were case–control studies, followed by cohort studies (14, 4.0%), clinical trials (8, 2.3%), and cross-sectional studies (6, 1.7%). Most studies assessed the following associations: DCA on hepatobiliary disorders (64 studies, 7976 participants), colorectal cancer (19 studies, 7461 participants), and other digestive disorders (27 studies, 2463 participants); LCA on hepatobiliary disorders (34 studies, 4297 participants), colorectal cancers (14 studies, 4955 participants), and other digestive disorders (26 studies, 2117 participants); putrescine on colorectal cancers (16 studies, 94,399 participants) and cancers excluding colorectal and hepatobiliary cancers (42 studies, 4250 participants). There is a need to conduct more prospective studies, including clinical trials. Moreover, we identified metabolites and conditions for which systematic reviews are warranted to characterize the direction and magnitude of metabolite-disease associations.

Access full publication.

This effort was supported by IAFNS Gut Microbiome Committee.