This week in therapeutics




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Cardiovascular disease

Fibrillation; congestive heart failure (CHF)

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Cell culture and mouse studies suggest a high-protein diet could improve bioavailability of the atrial fibrillation and CHF drug digoxin in patients. The human gut bacterium Eggerthella lenta strain DSM2243 metabolizes digoxin into an inactive compound. In digoxin-treated mice colonized with DSM2243, a high-protein diet increased digoxin levels in serum compared with a low-protein diet. Next steps could include evaluating the effect of high-protein diets on digoxin efficacy in patients.
Digoxin is a generic drug used to treat atrial fibrillation and CHF.

SciBX 6(32); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.862
Published online Aug. 22, 2013

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Haiser, H.J. et al. Science; published online July 19, 2013;
Contact: Peter J. Turnbaugh, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.