With the developments in medical science, many diseases of the past no longer exist. Where conditions like tuberculosis are easier to treat, there is also an increase in challenges. One of the hardest health conditions to control today is diabetes.
According to the statistics on the disease, around 415 million people around the globe suffer from type 2 diabetes. This is also why the researchers and health professionals call it a ‘global pandemic’.
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure or treatment for diabetes yet. A person with diabetes can only manage it with certain lifestyle changes and diet along with the particular medication.
Another problem faced by diabetic people is the effectiveness of the drugs they are taking. Medicines of any kind do not have the same effect on everyone. This also includes medication for diabetes. How well they work varies from one person to another.
There are different factors behind why a drug would not work for one person just like it does for another. In the case of diabetic medicines, scientists were not sure what leads to different success rates in people. Recently, new research has taken this topic into consideration.
The study, led by Hariom Yadav, Ph.D., an assistant professor of molecular medicine at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, looks at one factor that may affect medicine for diabetes – the gut bacteria.
There are also previous studies that show that gut bacteria can affect or possibly be a reason for many health conditions.
For example, both type 2 diabetes and obesity. These have also been mentioned in the new research. The findings of the new study have been published in the journal EBioMedicine.
Read the study here.
How Do Gut Bacteria Affect Drugs?
The main theory of gut bacteria playing a role in the working of diabetic drugs came from the differences noted when the drugs were taken orally and when they were given intravenously.
Yadav and researchers explain this by pointing at how gut bacteria are responsible for how a person metabolizes drugs. They say:
“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. Conversely, metformin, a commonly used anti-diabetes drug, works best when given orally but does not work when given through an IV”
Consequently, the focus of the research was both on how the microbiome can both stop and boost the working of drugs. To do so, the researchers along with Yadav reviewed over hundred-related studies on humans as well as lab rodents.
Conclusively, the team says that modifying the gut bacteria can help change how a drug works. It can both increase and decrease the effectiveness of the drugs for diabetes type 2.
In addition, the researchers also highlight how it is the variations in gut bacteria that drugs never work 100%. They show 90% or below efficacy.
What Are the Future Prospects?
In conclusion, the final comment of the team was:
“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.”
However, the researchers also stated that further research is required for this method. Only more studies and clinical trials can ensure better workings of drugs for diabetes type 2 in the future.