Type 2 diabetes: Gut bacteria may influence drug effectiveness

415 million people across the globe have Type 2 Diabetes and it is now considered a “global epidemic.” 

Diabetes drugs have varying success from person to person. New research conducted by Hariom Yadav, Ph.D., an assistant professor of molecular medicine at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, studies have suggested that gut bacteria is a key indicator to a drug’s success. This research suggests a correlation between medication effectiveness and the gut bacteria of a person with Type 2 Diabetes. 

“For example,” explains the lead researcher, “certain drugs work fine when given intravenously and go directly to the circulation, but when they are taken orally and pass through the gut, they don’t work.”

Metformin on the other hand works best when given orally. Based on the study, researchers believe that the individuals’ gut bacteria are affecting how well a person metabolizes the medication. 

The study focused on whether or not the microbiome “boosted or inhibited” the effectiveness of the medication. Our review showed that the metabolic capacity of a patient’s microbiome could influence the absorption and function of these drugs by making them pharmacologically active, inactive, or even toxic,” said Yadav.

Although this field of research is only about 10 years old, there are strong signs that our gut microbiome play a key role in our overall health this may include how we interact with medication. Yardav plans to continue to study the gut bacteria as it relates to the treatment of disease.  

To learn more: “Type 2 diabetes: Gut bacteria may influence drug effectiveness” by Medical News Today


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