It is increasingly recognized that the gut microbiota plays a role in the progression of chronic diseases and that diet may confer health benefits by altering the gut microbiota composition. This is of particular relevance for chronic kidney disease (CKD), as the gut is a source of uremic retention solutes, which accumulate as a result of impaired kidney function and can exert nephrotoxic and other harmful effects. Kidney dysfunction is also associated with changes in the composition of the gut microbiota and the gastrointestinal tract. Diet modulates the gut microbiota, and there is much interest in the use of prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics as dietary therapies in CKD, as well as dietary patterns that beneficially alter the microbiota. This review provides an overview of the gut microbiota and its measurement, its relevance in the context of CKD, and the current state of knowledge regarding dietary manipulation of the microbiota.
Matthew Snelson, Annabel Biruete, Catherine McFarlane, Katrina Campbell, A Renal Clinician’s Guide to the Gut Microbiota, Journal of Renal Nutrition, 2020 (epub ahead of print)