Figure 1: The gut flora has a blanket effect on several aspects of disease development. Diet, probiotics and prebiotics all influence the populations of the gut microflora. Highfat and high-sugar diets negatively impact beneficial microbes leading to dysbiosis characterized by an increase in pathobionts at the expense of symbionts. Probiotics and prebiotics realign gut dysbiosis by promoting a healthy balance of beneficial microbes including butyrateproducing, balancers of energy homeostasis, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative species. Since many chronic diseases have a multi-faceted etiology rooted in inflammation and metabolic distress, the broad action of beneficial gut microflora species is a keen target for reversing the pathogenesis of disease.