With the prevalence of cardio-metabolic disorders reaching pandemic proportions, the search for modifiable causative factors has intensified. One such potential factor is the vast microbial community inhabiting the human gastrointestinal tract, the gut microbiota. For the past decade evidence has accumulated showing the association of distinct changes in gut microbiota composition and function with obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Although causality in humans and the pathophysiological mechanisms involved have yet to be decisively established, several studies have demonstrated that the gut microbiota, as an environmental factor influencing the metabolic state of the host, is readily modifiable through a variety of interventions. In this review we provide an overview of the development of the gut microbiome and its compositional and functional changes in relation to cardio-metabolic disorders, and give an update on recent progress in how this could be exploited in microbiota-based therapeutics.