Thorne: Gut bacteria variability impacts drug efficacy

โ€œMany drugs are metabolized by the microbiomeโ€‹, indicating that the medication one believes they are taking may, in reality, may be altered by their gut bacteria,โ€ Nathan Price, chief scientific officer at personalized wellness company Thorne, told the audience in Milan.ย ย 

โ€œThis variability underscores the need for a deeper understanding of how the microbiome influences the effectiveness and metabolism of current medications.โ€

The microbiome represents a vast yet largely untapped area for therapeutic development, he suggested, as the interplay between gut bacteria and health opens up novel avenues for drug discovery and development.ย 

He added that by leveraging insights from microbiome research, pharmaceutical companies can develop new therapies that either target the microbiome directly or are designed to work in harmony with it, enhancing their efficacy and reducing potential side effects. ย 

Microbiome predicts statin effect ย โ€‹

One example is that statins, commonly prescribed to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, can lead to varied responses.ย 

Price explained one of Thorneโ€™sย recent studiesโ€‹ย has pointed to the gut microbiome as a potential reason why.

He noted that while the mechanism is still not fully understood, research found that in some cases, people with a particular group of gut bacteria experienced twice the reduction in LDL-cholesterol compared to others.ย 

โ€œThis is a significant finding because it implies that the effectiveness of statins might not just be about the drug itself but also about who is taking it and the unique bacterial ecosystem within their gut,โ€ he noted.ย 

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