Protecting the Gut Microbiome from Antibiotics

Protection against antibiotics

Antibiotics are a wonder of modern medicine. They have saved countless lives worldwide.


Unfortunately they decimate your healthy gut bacteria (gut microbiome) and have been linked to the development of allergies and obesity.


So strategies to protect your good bacteria from antibiotics while still killing the bad bacteria are a big deal.


Now researchers have developed a new type of activated charcoal that could protect your delicate microbiome from the harmful effects of antibiotics, without hindering the antibiotic’s ability to kill the bad bacteria!


The new activated charcoal treatment is called DAV132.


In a study, pre-published on BioRxiv, researchers conducted a phase I randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with a total of 71 volunteers.


How was the study conducted?

The volunteers were treated with a 5-day course of the antibiotic moxifloxacin in two parallel groups with or without DAV132 co-administration. Two control groups received DAV132 alone or a non-active substitute.


What were the results?

  1. Firstly DAV132 was safe. No adverse side effects were reported.
  2. Moxifloxacin was reduced by 99% in the feces of the group taking DAV132, but the antibiotic in the their blood was unaffected.
  3. The gut microbiomes of the DAV132-treated group were largely unaffected by the antibiotic relative to the controls.


The third result is probably the most important.


The group receiving the antibiotic without taking DAV132 had significant damage to their gut microbiomes, which persisted for a month after the treatment stopped.


However, the DAV132 group saw minimal damage to their gut microbiomes, and what little damage there was had gone within 11 days of stopping the antibiotic.


Due to its non-specific nature, DAV132 appears to be effective in protecting against a wide range of antibiotics and looks to be a promising protective treatment against the microbiome-damaging effects of antibiotics.


This was a phase I clinical trial, so there’s still a lot of work to do, but these results a very promising.


You can read the study here