Thus our gut microbiota unexpectedly accumulates drugs, without us realizing it

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Recent research has identified that gut microbiota bacteria can interfere and interact with certain medications

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Recent research has identified that gut microbiota bacteria can interfere and interact with certain medications





Recent research has identified that the bacteria of the intestinal microbiota they can interfere and interact with some medications. When we take medicine, there are often unwanted consequences, and sometimes these consequences occur even after the drugs physically leave the body. However, even before drugs have a chance to leave our body, they will likely interact with some organisms as well, such as intestinal microbiome

In a new one study, Scientists have found that numerous species of bacteria that live in the gut can interact and accumulate different types of drugs, including antidepressants, pain relievers, heart medications, and more.

A systematic review

Scientists already knew that bacteria from the human microbiome have the ability to chemically modify drugs with which they come into contact, due to the phenomenon known as biotransformation; but new research shows that this feature isn't the only thing that happens.

Laboratory experiments with over 20 species of human gut bacteria exposed to 15 different types of drugs showed that, more often than not, the bacteria ended up unexpectedly accumulating chemicals without actually changing them. According to the researchers, i bioaccumulated drugs they have the potential not only to alter bacterial behavior and metabolic processes, but also to influence the distribution and balance of bacterial populations.

In other words, drugs not only affect you, they probably do unknown effects on the microbiotto intestinal and its overall composition. Furthermore, according to the research team, these currently unknown effects can change from person to person, especially depending on the composition of the gut microbiota.


What is important to point out is that aside from the problem of what the drugs might do to the bacteria, the drugs taken may become less effective precisely because of these bacteria. Consequently, in addition to potentially reduce the effectiveness of some medications, it is possible that the same phenomenon can also cause or influence side effects in some patients.


Much more research will be needed to understand just how important this bacterial buildup problem really is; therefore, the next steps will be to carry out this basic molecular research and investigate how gut bacteria bind to different individual responses to drugs such as antidepressants.

In this way, if it is possible to understand how people respond based on the composition of their microbiota, then drug treatments could be individualized and personalized.

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Photos: Nature

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