Bacterial bile acid modification and potential pharmaceutical applications

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Modification of bile acids by gut bacteria has the potential to influence host physiology and risk of metabolic disease through effects on bile acid signalling, and may be involved in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer via a range of mechanisms. We have previously examined the distribution, abundance, and function of bile salt hydrolase activity (a key microbial enzyme involved in bacterial bile acid modification) in the human gut microbiome, and found this to be a conserved function of the gut microbiota, which may be of pharmaceutical interest. This article summarises current knowledge regarding the potential for microbial bile acid metabolism to influence human health and highlights possibilities for pharmaceutical intervention. Where possible the reader is referred to recent comprehensive reviews of these subjects, through which the wider literature may be accessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Therapeutic Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2011


  • Bile acids
  • Bile salt hydrolase
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Gut microbiota
  • Metagenomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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