Medication Making You Sicker? Blame Your Gut Bacteria!


In New York, your gut bacteria can directly affect how well your body absorbs and metabolizes medication. Research on a chemotherapy drug showed that some patients had severe diarrhea as a side effect because of gut bacterial enyzmes, specifically β-glucuronidases, that turned the drug into a toxic compound. Increased levels of proteins that transport sugar into cells also increased the absorption of the toxic compound. Testing on mice found that gut toxicity with some anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen were a result of those bacterial enzymes as well.

This helps explain why some drug testing results on animals don’t coincide with the same side effects or effectiveness on some humans since we have different microbes and gut bacteria. Biofuels Digest reported on how genetics affect a person’s response to medications, but it looks like your gut bacteria also make a difference in how you handle medications.