(Dr. Liji Thomas/ Medicakl Life Science News) — A startling presentation at UEG Week 2019, in Barcelona, reveals that the gut microbiome is at high risk for damage each time we use a drug from one or more of 18 commonly used groups. The effects may range from changes in the relative proportions of different beneficial and potentially harmful species to alterations in the cellular metabolism of the bacteria themselves.
The outcomes measured included the risk of obesity, intestinal infections, and microbiome-linked conditions. Additionally, drugs in another eight categories also induce genes that lead to higher antibiotic resistance in the treated individuals.
The researchers examined the effects of using drugs from 41 categories, comparing more than 1,880 fecal samples from three groups: a cohort representative of the general population, one with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and a third group with individuals with IBD as well as healthy controls. They were looking for the effects of the use of a single drug, and then of multiple drugs used together. They analyzed the differences in the composition of the gut microbiota and the cellular metabolism induced by the drug, as compared to people not on the drug. (…)