Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jul 13;21(14). Epub 2020 Jul 13.
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy.
Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, which include gastrointestinal reflux disease, gastric ulceration, inflammatory bowel disease, and other functional GI disorders, have become prevalent in a large part of the world population. Metabolic syndrome (MS) is cluster of disorders including obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension, and is associated with high rate of morbidity and mortality. Gut dysbiosis is one of the contributing factors to the pathogenesis of both GI disorder and MS, and restoration of normal flora can provide a potential protective approach in both these conditions. Bioactive dietary components are known to play a significant role in the maintenance of health and wellness, as they have the potential to modify risk factors for a large number of serious disorders. Different classes of functional dietary components, such as dietary fibers, probiotics, prebiotics, polyunsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols, and spices, possess positive impacts on human health and can be useful as alternative treatments for GI disorders and metabolic dysregulation, as they can modify the risk factors associated with these pathologies. Their regular intake in sufficient amounts also aids in the restoration of normal intestinal flora, resulting in positive regulation of insulin signaling, metabolic pathways and immune responses, and reduction of low-grade chronic inflammation. This review is designed to focus on the health benefits of bioactive dietary components, with the aim of preventing the development or halting the progression of GI disorders and MS through an improvement of the most important risk factors including gut dysbiosis.