Various medications have an effect on the Microbiota. The best known are antibiotics, but other medications such as antacids would also have a deleterious effect on the balance of our bacteria.

This is shown by a recent case-control study, which compares a group of patients who take a specific type of antacid (the Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole) with another group that does not take it.

These drugs are widely used to prevent or treat ulcers or gastric reflux, and although they have already been associated with an increased risk of fracture and malabsorption of certain vitamins, they are still widely consumed. This study has shown that patients who consumed the drug for at least one year, had an increase of a certain type of bacteria (of the genus Streptococcus) and a decrease of another type (Faecalibacterium), compared with those who did not.

Faecalibacterium is one of the most abundant families of bacteria in the human intestine where it plays an anti-inflammatory role, maintaining intestinal health. A decrease in this type of bacteria is also observed in patients with Crohn’s desease or Ulcerative Colitis. Thus, the authors conclude that prolonged consumption of these antacids could be associated with intestinal inflammation.