Statin drugs are quite good at busting cholesterol but they may work for some and not others because of gut bacteria, new research says.
A team led by a Duke University Medical Centre scientist has identified three bile acids produced by gut bacteria in people who responded well to a common cholesterol-busting drug called simvastatin.
The finding demonstrates how gut bacteria can cause inherent differences in the way people digest, metabolise and benefit from substances such as drugs, reports the journal Public Library of Science One.
The study represents an analysis of the intestinal microflora and metabolomics, a discipline that examines thousands of biochemical components involved in cellular metabolism, according to a Duke statement.
"This is personalised medicine - the effects of drugs and how we respond," said Rima Kaddurah-Daouk, associate professor in psychiatry at Duke`s.
"We found that the benefit of statins could be partly related to the type of bacteria that lives in our guts. The reason we respond differently is not only our genetic makeup, but also our gut microbiome," Kaddurah-Daouk added.