The link between gut bacteria and heart disease – Direct or Indirect?

However, these findings of altered gut microbiota are challenged as they were obtained in studies of patients taking the drug. Patients with heart disease are given a number of different medications, each known to alter the gut microbiome.

Another complication lies in the fact that heart disease often develops with the early stages of overweight and type 2 diabetes, also characterized by disrupted gut microbiota.

Therefore, it remains unclear whether an imbalanced gut microbiome is a feature of heart disease.

To answer these important questions, a team of European researchers investigated the role of gut bacteria in cardiometabolic disease.

The researchers recruited 1,241 middle-aged people from Denmark, France and Germany, including healthy individuals, people with obesity and type 2 diabetes but lacking a heart disease diagnosis, and patients with myocardial infarctions. heart failure, angina or heart failure.

They quantified about 700 different bacterial species and estimated their function in the gut microbiome and compared these findings with more than 1,000 compounds circulating in the blood, many of which are derived from chemical factory in the gut.

About half of the gut bacteria and blood compounds were treated with drugs and were not directly linked to heart disease..

Of the other half, about 75% of gut microbiota disorders occur in the early stages of overweight and type 2 diabetes, years before patients notice any symptoms. of heart disease.

Both in the early stages of metabolic dysregulation and in the later stages of diagnosed heart disease, the diseased microbiome is characterized by a loss of bacterial cells and bacterial capacities.

In addition, the patients showed a shift to fewer types of bacteria known to produce health-promoting compounds such as short-chain fatty acids, and more bacteria to produce unhealthy compounds from the metabolism. metabolism of certain amino acids, choline and L-carnitine in the diet.

The main limitation of the studies is that investigators report associations, rather than cause-and-effect explanations for their observations.

Interventions in both humans and rodents have shown that gut microbiota imbalances at different stages of heart disease development can be partially modified and restored by eating a low-fat diet. plant origin and more energy control, avoid smoking and adhere to daily exercise.

It is time to move the accumulating evidence on the role of the gut microbiome to more focused public health initiatives in an effort to prevent or delay the morbidity and mortality associated with heart disease.

Source: Medindia

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