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Gut bacteria may influence effectiveness of cholesterol medications

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Statin medications are the most common prescription for individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results. These drugs helped millions of people improve their heart health by bringing their cholesterol into normal ranges. However, they are not effective for everyone.

A team of researchers from Duke University has found that the degree to which a person benefits from statin medications may depend largely on the makeup of their gut bacteria. After studying groups of people who do not respond to statins, they found that the majority had higher levels of three types of bile produced by stomach microbes.

The findings may enable doctors to determine ahead of time which patients will benefit from statin medications and which would do better on alternative therapies. This could save valuable time in the treatment process.

"This is personalized medicine - the effects of drugs and how we respond," said lead author Rima Kaddurah-Daouk. "We're at a very early stage of understating this relationship, but eventually we could take a quick chemical assay and get a read on where we are metabolically." ADNFCR-2248-ID-800619315-ADNFCR

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