Warning! These commonly used drugs may be changing your gut microbiota


The new study reveals some commonly used medicines that may change your gut microbiota. It includes medicines that people use for diabetes, digestive issues, bacterial infections, and some antidepressants too. All these medicines change the natural microbial flora of the human gut.

This new study from University Medical Center Groningen and the Maastricht University Medical Center, Netherlands has concluded that antibiotics and antidepressants impact gut flora in a negative way.

This paper is presented at the United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG) Week in Barcelona, Spain in October 2019.

This study examined the effects of 41 common prescription medicines on 1,883 patients of inflammatory bowel disease.

18 drugs were involved in changing the gut microbiota

The results from patient samples, which were on medication, were compared to the results of people who were not using these medicine. The effects on each one of these patients were also checked for the combination of these drugs.

The results showed that 18 of these drugs were causing undesirable consequences for health by changing the gut microbiota. These consequences include intestinal disease, obesity, and similar problems.

Four drug categories were having the strongest effect that includes the following.

  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • metformin
  • antibiotics
  • laxatives

It is already clear that a healthy gut is an essential part of good health. Any change in its bacterial load will cause undesirable effects. This study highlights the importance of choosing the right medicine for treating common diseases that have little or no harmful effect on gut flora.

How gut health affects the whole body?

The human gut contains trillions of microorganisms, which include more than 1000 different species of bacteria. This is only the “known” bacteria in the human gut and there are thousands of more that are still unknown. Microbiota may weight up to 2 kg and it is different in almost everyone. Every person has a different microbiota which tells about his physiological functions. That is why when we say gut health affects overall body health, it is true.

Research from the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, says that having a healthy amount of good bacteria in the gut improves immunity, stress, manages weight and prevent infections.

Check for these signs that represent an unhealthy gut.

  • Often having an upset stomach along with bloating, gas, constipation, or heartburn.A
  • Unhealthy eating habits such as eating food that has a high amount of sugar
  • Unexplained and unintentional changes in weight
  • Troubled sleeping and insomnia
  • Skin irritation and damage
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Food allergies and intolerances

Related- Vegan diet for 4 months is good for the gut microbiome

To have a healthy gut, try doing the following.

Start from eating healthy. Eat from diverse food groups coming from different sources.

Add lots of green vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, and beans in your diet. All of them have a high amount of fiber, which balances the bacterial load in the gut.

Add fermented food like yogurt, kefir, Kombucha etc in your diet. These fermented foods use microbes to prepare them for example, yeast. So eating them will modify the intestinal bacteria and improve gut health.

Avoid using artificial sweeteners and prefer taking natural sugar. This artificial sweetener can cause blood sugar to spike and affect digestion.

Eat prebiotic foods that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.




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