Gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem seen as an extension of human genome. It represents a major metabolic interface of interaction with food components and xenobiotics in the gastrointestinal (GI) environment. In this context, the advent of modern bacterial genome sequencing technology has enabled the identification of dietary nutrients as key determinants of gut microbial ecosystem able to modulate the host-microbiome symbiotic relationship and its effects on human health. This article provides a literature review on functional and molecular interactions between a specific group of lipids and essential nutrients, e.g., fat-soluble vitamins (FSVs), and the gut microbiota. A two-way relationship appears to emerge from the available literature with important effects on human metabolism, nutrition, GI physiology and immune function. First, FSV directly or indirectly modify the microbial composition involving for example immune system-mediated and/or metabolic mechanisms of bacterial growth or inhibition. Second, the gut microbiota influences at different levels the synthesis, metabolism and transport of FSV including their bioactive metabolites that are either introduced with the diet or released in the gut via entero-hepatic circulation. A better understanding of these interactions, and of their impact on intestinal and metabolic homeostasis, will be pivotal to design new and more efficient strategies of disease prevention and therapy, and personalized nutrition.
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