Did you know that maintaining a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut also protects your heart?
A pair of recent studies demonstrates how the health of your gut may provide easy-to-spot clues that can identify cardiovascular problems like heart disease, diabetes and chronic inflammation.
Probiotics vs. obesity
The bacterial diversity of your gut may be linked to your risks of obesity-related disorders, according to a Danish study that compared the health of 123 non-obese patients to 169 obese patients.
No surprise, researchers concluded the greater the amount of beneficial bacteria and the diversity of those species, the greater the protection to cardiovascular diseases, including diabetes and chronic inflammation.
On the other hand, patients with lower bacterial richness had more adipose tissue (fat), and were more vulnerable to diabetes, chronic inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.
Approximately 25 percent of the patients tested had a lower richness of gut bacteria and about 40 percent less gut bacteria genes and bacteria overall than the average patient.
These smaller amounts of bacteria found in this Danish patient group were also indicative of low-level but chronic inflammation present in the digestive tract as well as the entire body.
This low-level but persistent inflammation can also contribute to metabolic changes and boost a patient’s risks cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, according to the study.
Too much TMAO hurts your heart!
The lack of diversity of gut bacteria isn’t the only factor that affects your heart health. What foods you eat are also connected to how your gut creates chemicals that can harm your heart.
A Cleveland Clinic study uncovered a link between eating too many choline-rich foods (egg yolks and fatty meats) and the production of TMAO (trimethylene n-oxide), an organic gut byproduct and heart disease trigger that promotes the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, by gut flora.
For the first phase of the study, patients were instructed to eat two hard-boiled eggs, then take a choline capsule to show how gut flora raise TMAO levels in the blood. When the same patients were given a broad-spectrum antibiotic to suppress gut flora, TMAO levels dropped, even after taking a dose of choline pill.
During the final phase encompassing more than 4,000 patients and three years, higher TMAO levels in the blood were responsible with greater risks of death and non-fatal incidents of stroke or heart attack in patients.
Choline isn’t the substance that triggers gut flora problems. Carnitine, a similar nutrient contained in red meat, dairy products, fish, avocados and peanut butter, has also been linked to elevated TMAO production and heart attack risks.
With more health data accumulating about the ways your gut plays a bigger role in your heart health, there’s one proven and completely safe way to protect your microbiome: Take a probiotic made from multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic every day.
If you want to safeguard the gut health of your kids too, EndoMune Advanced Junior will help their gut health and immune systems.
Protect your heart and gut health for those you care about the most this Valentine’s Day weekend.