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Many common meds could alter your microbiome


The study was presented Wednesday at the United European Gastroenterology annual meeting, in Barcelona and such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Some widely used drugs alter the population of microbes in the gut, and a number raise the risk of antibiotic resistance, a new Dutch study shows.

The gut microbiome includes at least 1,000 species of bacteria and is influenced by a number of different factors, including medication. Research suggests that changes in the gut microbiome are associated with obesity, diabetes, liver diseases, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

“We already know that the efficiency and the toxicity of certain drugs are influenced by the bacterial composition of the gastrointestinal tract and that the gut microbiota has been related to multiple health conditions; therefore, it is crucial to understand which are the consequences of medication use in the gut microbiome,” said lead researcher Arnau Vich Vila, from the University Medical Center Groningen.

In this study, the researchers examined 41 commonly used drug categories and assessed 1,883 fecal samples from people who did and didn’t take the drugs, including some with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Eighteen of the drug categories had major effects on the gut microbiome, and eight increased the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

For example, the use of SSRI antidepressants by people with IBS was associated with increased levels of the potentially harmful bacteria species Eubacterium ramulus.

“Our work highlights the importance of considering the role of the gut microbiota when designing treatments and also points to new hypotheses that could explain certain side-effects associated with medication use,” Vila said in a meeting news release.

Read full article by Robert Preidt here.

Posted on: October 24 2019

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