The interplay of STW-5 (Iberogast®) with human gut microbiota

The herbal medicinal product STW-5 is used in functional gastrointestinal diseases like dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. The aim of the study is to investigate how gut bacteria metabolize STW-5 constituents, and how STW-5 is influencing gut microbial community composition, in order to elucidate the role of the human gut microbiome for the activity of STW-5.

Eingereicht von: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rudolf Bauer
Firma/Universität: Universität Graz
Homepage: www.uni-graz.at
Kooperationspartner: Medizinische Universität Graz; Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH

Millions of people supplement their food with secondary plant metabolites for the sake of health and well-being. Beyond that, many are using herbal medicinal products, like STW-5, on a regular basis to treat functional gastrointestinal diseases. The mode of action of such products is often not known. Since many of the constituents of herbal extracts are not absorbed before they reach the distal gut, it is likely that they are metabolized by the gut microbiota. However, not all people respond to drugs similarly, some even don’t respond at all (non-responders). The composition and function of the human gut microbiota is therefore likely to play a key role in the understanding of the mode of action of (herbal) drugs. To date, only a few of these interactions have been studied, so far not tackling the exact pathways and involved microorganisms and genes nor testing of novel bioactive compounds.

Future applications may be combined intake of drugs with probiotic microorganisms that are able to convert particular compounds to bioactive substances, personalized medication (based on the microbiome composition), or discovery of metabolites which do not require microbial conversion for full pharmacological activity.

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