Gut bacteria may be eating our medication and making it ineffective, study suggests

with No Comments

(Rosie McCall/ IFL Science) — The microbes in our guts may interfere with medication – by eating it.

Harvard researchers writing in Science describe one of the first clear-cut examples of the microbiome impeding a drug’s progress through the body by exposing the bacteria responsible for weakening the medication for Parkinson’s disease (levodopa, or L-dopa), Enterococcus faecalis.

Our gut (or microbiome) is a complex ecosystem of microbial life (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etcetera) and scientific research is only starting to discover just how crucial it is to our mental and physical health. Some experts even go so far as to call it our “second brain”.

These microbes play an important role in the break down of foods like fiber, which the human body cannot digest by itself. Unfortunately, there may be an unintended side effect and that is that the microbes can eat up medications too. (…)

read full story