Higher organisms such as mammals exist in a symbiotic relationship with their gut microbiota, formed from a diverse and highly metabolically active consortium of species. The gut microbiota, in addition to their ability to process dietary derived material, are also capable of performing a range of biotransformations on xenobiotics, such as drugs and their metabolites, in ways that can affect absorption and bioavailability. The potential for the gut microflora to influence drug metabolism and toxicity in unexpected ways is discussed.
Keywords: Drug metabolism, bioavailability, gut microbiota, superorganisms, population differences, diet
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