Human Gut Bacteria Can Accumulate Medicines Taken by People

Recent research finds that numerous bacteria inhabiting the human intestine can interact with and accumulate a number of different types of medicines taken by people, for example, pain relief, heart medication, etc.

In their study, researchers conducted experiments in the lab with over 20 species of human gut bacteria and exposed them to 15 different kinds of human-targeted drugs. The results showed that bacteria unexpectedly accumulated the chemicals without modifying them.

Kiran Patil, leader of the study at the MRC Toxicology Unit at the University of Cambridge, says: “It was surprising that the majority of the new interactions we saw between bacteria and drugs were the drugs accumulating in the bacteria. Until now, biotransformation was thought to be the main way that bacteria affect the availability of drugs to the body.”

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