P. 20-23 /

Commonly administered medicines that could impact human gut microflora


*Corresponding Author
Food Microbiology and Biotechnology Laboratory, Food and Nutritional Sciences
171 Carver Hall, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
Greensboro, NC 27411-1064, USA


This review summarizes how certain commonly used medications could negatively impact the gut microbiota in the elderly. The elderly population is inherently more susceptible to gastrointestinal problems and diseases due to significant age-related gastrointestinal changes experienced in gut physiology, reactivity of the immune system, and/or diet. These factors, coupled with increased occurrence of disease and corresponding medication use, could also modify the composition of gut microbiota. The impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the physical gastrointestinal tract has already been shown. However, the impact of these factors on the microbiota inhabiting the GI tract has not been well established. A better understanding of the relationship between medication use and gut microbiota composition may have beneficial implications for general and elderly health.



As the aging process proceeds, the elderly naturally encounter a decrease in the number of beneficial bacterial species present in the microbiota. The stability of gut microbiota in the elderly is affected by physiological changes in the gastrointestinal tract stimulated by increasing age. Combined with factors such as changes in lifestyle and diet, diminished performance of the immune system could  negatively impact  the presence of microbes (1). Because natural declines in physiological function commonly occur with age, this decline may indirectly alter the composition of gut microflora due to the influence of absorption and/or metabolism of nutrients. Decreased muscle bulk, coupled with tooth loss, cau ... ...