Heterogeneity in statin responses explained by variation in the human gut microbiome

Statins are one of the most prescribed medications. Current estimates stand at over 200 million people across the world who take these medications to ensure heart health. However, for some patients, statin use comes with a series of side effects. To better understand these drug-related interactions, we investigated the role of the gut microbiome in modifying patient responses to statin therapy. Our study suggests an individual’s gut microbiome does play a role in statin response, creating a pathway toward personalizing statin treatment through monitoring the gut. 

Results roundup:

  • Variation in the composition of your gut microbiome explains inter-individual variability in statin response, with a more diverse microbiome possibly interfering with statin on-target effects
  • The plasma metabolite HMG is a robust marker of both statin use and statin on-target effects, which also reflects known genetic variability in statin responses
  • HMG could be used in conjunction with LDL-cholesterol to evaluate statin effects

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