Earlier this week, I talked to you about a quick cardiovascular screening tool that I wasn’t necessarily fond of. So, today, allow me to share one novel approach that I am excited about: microbiome evaluation.
Because believe it or not, your gut’s bacterial population actually says a lot about the potential threat to your heart. And according to recent research, routine screening of your intestinal flora may soon be standard procedure for cardiology patients everywhere…
Tracking down heart disease
Researchers presented this new study at the recent Hypertension 2020 Scientific Sessions, which the American Heart Association (AHA) held virtually in early September. (Good to know that they occasionally do something worthwhile.)
Using data from a U.S.-based platform called the American Gut Project, scientists analyzed the microbial composition of nearly 1,000 stool samples—half of which came from subjects with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
With the help of state-of-the-art machine modeling, the researchers were able to pinpoint specific clusters of gut bacteria among subjects with and without heart disease.
The more abundant strains in the CVD group were:
While the more abundant strains in the non-CVD group were:
In the end, results were consistent enough that the researchers concluded that fecal testing for bacterial composition might one day serve as a quick and easy routine heart and vascular disease screen.
Beyond heart health
This isn’t the first time research has linked gut bacteria with heart disease. Metabolites from gut bacteria have a huge impact on the health of your whole body. And on your heart’s health, in particular.
Short chain fatty acids modulate blood pressure—while compounds like trimethlyamine N-oxide (TMAO) negatively impact cholesterol metabolism, arterial flexibility, and clotting mechanisms.
And let’s not forget the crucial byproducts of probiotics like Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3—which, unlike any other probiotic, can actually replenish glutathione, the body’s most essential antioxidant.
Maybe one day, we’ll be able to screen for heart disease using a simple stool sample… maybe we won’t. But the real take home message here is that what you feed your gut matters.
The diet you provide to your microbiome influences the metabolites it generates. And you can completely reshape your health simply by reshaping the activity of your gut’s bacterial population.
And I’m not just talking about your heart’s health, either. In fact, in the latest issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The fight for your brain begins in your gut”), I discuss your microbiome’s powerful role in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, too.
Believe me when I say, this is vital information no one can afford to miss. So if you haven’t yet, as always, consider becoming a subscriber today.
“Gut microbiome data may be helpful in routine screening of cardiovascular disease.” Science Daily, 09/10/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200910150336.htm)