The main function of the intestinal barrier is to regulate the absorption of nutrients, electrolytes, and water from the lumen into circulation and to prevent the entry of pathogenic microorganisms and toxic luminal substances. To maintain this function, an ideal microbiota balance is required and gut microbiota are critical for the intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction and for the maintenance of physiological homeostasis. There is a demonstrable link between dysbiosis and intestinal dysfunction and diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. However, links amongst gut pathology, microbial ecology, and blood pressure remain elusive. In a recent issue of Clinical Science (vol. 132, issue 6, 701-718), Kim et al. demonstrate a crucial link between gut microbiota and bacterial metabolites such as butyrate, gut leakiness, and hypertension.

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