Healthy gut bacteria can ward off chemotherapy side effects | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: July 15, 2024

Maintaining your gut health, also known as a healthy microbiome, is critical for promoting healthy digestion and building a strong immune system. Now, research from Northwestern University indicates that healthy gut bacteria can even ward off the damaging side effects of chemotherapy. 

To come to this conclusion, the researchers simulated a microbiome in their lab which included bacteria that have been known to break down chemotherapy chemicals as well as those particularly vulnerable to the toxins. When adding the chemotherapy drug called doxorubicin to the mix, they found that the strong bacteria helped degrade the drug and even protect the weaker gut bacteria. 

The process was inspired by a concept called bioremediation, which uses microbes to clean up the environmental pollution. These findings indicate that building up a healthy microbiome before treatment can improve patients’ outcomes post-chemotherapy. What’s more, the bacterial breakdown of the drugs does not hinder their efficacy in treating tumors. 

Source study: Northwestern University – Good bacteria can temper chemotherapy side effects

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