Scientists that study the gut have made some major strides in 2023. To kick 2024 off to a science-y start, let’s take a look at some of 2023’s most exciting gut health advancements. 

Better Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer

Scientists at the University of Arizona developed a technology for making chemotherapy less harsh for patients with colorectal cancer. Chemotherapy is usually administered systemically, meaning the entire body is exposed to it. That’s why chemotherapy patients experience systemic symptoms, like hair loss, nausea, and fatigue. The UofA team created a technology that keeps a chemotherapy drug (5-fluorouracil) confined to the colon, which was found to reduce the systemic symptoms of chemotherapy that colorectal cancer patients typically experience.

Testing the Microbiome to See How Medications Will Work For You

The gut microbiome affects drug metabolism – AKA, how people respond to medications. Scientists at Princeton University created a test that analyzes the gut microbiome and predicts patients’ responses to drugs based on their results. This test is a promising option for personalizing patients’ prescriptions. 

Probiotics for Preventing Cavities 

No one likes going to the dentist – especially if you’re getting checked for cavities. What if you could take an oral probiotic that is 99% effective against the pathogens that cause cavities? That’s what scientists at the University of Toronto discovered this year. 

Making Probiotics More Effective  

Taking probiotics can help reform your microbiome, especially if they are able to survive your microbiome and stick around (see more about this topic in our probiotics blogs). Scientists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville created a protective protein for probiotics so that they have a higher chance of surviving and colonizing the gut microbiome. This may help to make probiotics more effective in the future. 

Reversing Drunkenness

Can you remember a time when you had one too many drinks? Or a few too many? Scientists at UT Southwestern created a drug that reverses acute alcohol intoxication this year. Scientists are learning how to control alcohol’s effects.  

Scientists are discovering more about the gut microbiome every year. We can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store for us. Happy new year from IgY Nutrition!