We now know that commensal human microbiota is not a mere bystander but have coevolved with us playing pivotal role in normal human development and physiology. Microbiome’s health and diversity is a growing theme in medical research for treating autoimmune, infectious, metabolic and brain diseases.
Commensal flora dysbiosis is associated with many disease susceptibilities and traditionally, we thought; the major culprit in disrupting commensal architecture is antibiotics. So, it is very pragmatic for a good number of healthcare practitioners to recommend probiotics for people who take antibiotics. It is not just antibiotics, but other classes of drugs also affect gut flora and its homesostatis.
Earlier studies showed some information on drugs such as antidiabetics, proton pump inhibitors and NSAIDs, antipsychotics having an association with commensal dysbiosis. A recent study has validated a clearer picture on how non-antibiotic human drugs can have deleterious effect on commensal architecture and metabolic functions (1). Researchers screened more than 1000 marketed drugs on representative gut commensal strain and show that a quarter of these therapeutic drugs inhibited at least one commensal strain. Drugs from all classes exhibited negative effects on commensal flora with antineoplastics, antipsychotics, calcium channel blockers may having more harmful impact. The study also highlights the previously unnoticed risk that consumption of non-antibiotic drugs may boost antibiotic resistance which in turn can be detrimental from a health perspective.
This is just a starting point, in future, I am sure there will be more and more studies looking into drug-microbiome interaction and its role in disease conditions.
Medical research is validated that human microbiome is a fully functional additional organ – a highly adaptable and organized – with key functions in health and longevity. So it is very important for us to nurture and diversify our commensal flora and its collective metabolic function. We all take some form of drugs, whether it is ibuprofen for fever, or a prescription drug for depression or OTC allergy pill; some of them may have an impact your gut microflora. It might not be a bad idea to get on to a fiber-rich rainbow diet to mitigate the negative impacts of everybody drugs on our gut flora. A good gut flora diversifying probiotic–prebiotic supplement can also go a long way in assisting your commensal flora. Biom Probiotics use TriBIOM technology delivers second-generation, functional supplements with three clinically proven components that act synergistically to shape and modulate your gut microbiome with a probiotic, Immunobiotics and prebiotic combination.