At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another academic article our gut health nerds found interesting…
Have you ever wondered why you can’t tolerate certain foods while those around you can? Or why your siblings might recoil at the thought of eating a food that you happen to love? How about why a medication works well for someone else but seems to be a dud for you? Wonder why you feel the side effects from a drug while others don’t? Well, the answer to all these questions might be microbes.
Microbes are the tiny microorganisms from different species that live in our intestines and play a vital role in maintaining our health, not to mention our food likes and dislikes, medication absorption and metabolism, and disease state.
The Gut Microbiome
The typical human gastrointestinal (GI) tract is colonized by trillions of microbes, and each of us has our own unique colony. Like a fingerprint or DNA, no two people are colonized by the exact same set of microbes. This is called variability, and it’s the variability between people that helps explain why two individuals can respond way differently to the exact same food or medication.
Medication and the Microbiome
Scientists have started to explore the world of microbes and are curious to find out if their unique properties can be harnessed to produce personalized medicine. The idea is if the microbes that are found within your gut differ from everyone else’s, then a drug tailored to your body’s microbiome might be more effective than one-size-fits-all version.
By analyzing a patient’s gut microbiome, scientists are also on the cusp of being able to predict the likelihood of successful treatment for, say, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As the article below points out, pharmaceutical companies are racing full speed ahead with one goal in mind: to discover and develop new microbiome-based treatments for chronic conditions like IBD. In the not-too-distant future, doctors might just be prescribing personalized IBD meds, made specifically for each individual patient.
While unique, the human microbiome is not permanent, meaning it can be altered through diet and lifestyle changes. While the era of medication tailored to the patient’s microbiome is still down the road a bit, the tools to alter our microbiomes through food and lifestyle choices are here now.
About Vivante Health
Vivante Health is an innovative digital healthcare company reinventing the way chronic conditions are managed, starting with digestive disease. Our health management ecosystem, GIThrive, empowers people—through brilliant technology and advanced science—to spend less time worrying about their digestive condition and more time living life.
Original article: Taking it Personally: Personalized Utilization of the Human Microbiome in Health and Disease