Gut Microbiome May Affect Some Anti-diabetes Drugs

Bacteria that make up the gut microbiome may be the reason why orally administered drugs for diabetes work for some people but not others, according to Wake Forest Baptist Health researchers.

Hariom Yadav“For example, 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,” said Hariom Yadav, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine. “Conversely, metformin, a commonly used anti-diabetes drug, works best when given orally but does not work when given through IV.”

In a review of more than 100 current published studies in humans and rodents, the research team examined how gut bacteria either enhanced or inhibited a drug’s effectiveness.

The researchers determined that the metabolic capacity of a patient’s microbiome could influence the absorption and function of the diabetes drugs by making them pharmacologically active, inactive or even toxic.

They concluded that modulating the gut microbiome with drugs may represent a target to improve, modify or reverse the effectiveness of current medications for type-2 diabetes.

The review was published in the journal EBiomedicine.

Read the news release.