Bacteriophages could replace antibiotics for gut health

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In Massachusetts, a new clinical study confirmed the safety and tolerability of using bacteria-specific viruses known as bacteriophages to eliminate disease-causing bacteria in the gut. The new treatment could be used in place of antibiotics to rid the gut of harmful bacteria and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria that are known to enhance gastrointestinal health, immune function and anti-inflammatory processes.

Bacteriophages can be used to selectively combat specific microorganisms in people without causing any type of infection or disrupting the body’s microbiome as a whole. In addition to treating bacteria-related gastrointestinal illnesses, bacteriophages could be used as dietary supplements to help restore balance to the bacteria that live in the gut of people with metabolic syndrome, which is known to shift gut bacteria to a more pathogenic and inflammatory state.

Study participants tolerated the bacteriophage treatment extremely well, with no adverse events reported during the four weeks of treatment.