Purpose of review
Alterations in the gut microbiome composition or function are associated with risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia. Based on recent evidence that also oral medications used to treat these conditions could alter the gut microbiome composition and function and, vice versa, that the gut microbiome could affect the efficacy of these treatments, we reviewed the literature on these observed interactions.
While the interaction of metformin with the gut microbiome has been studied most, other drugs that target cardiometabolic risk are gaining attention and often showed associations with alterations in microbiome-related features, including alterations in specific microbial taxa or pathways, microbiome composition or microbiome-derived metabolites, while the gut microbiome was also involved in drug metabolism and drug efficacy. As for metformin, for some of them even a potential therapeutic effect via the gut microbiome is postulated. However, exact mechanisms remain to be elucidated.
There is growing interest in clarifying the interactions between the gut microbiome and drugs to treat hypertension, hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia as well as the first pass effect of microbiome on drug efficacy. While mostly analysed in animal models, also human studies are gaining more and more traction. Improving the understanding of the gut microbiome drug interaction can provide clinical directions for therapy by optimizing drug efficacy or providing new targets for drug development.