What does your gut health have to do with your heart?

By Lillian So Chan

Gut health and heart health are linked.

Scientists are showing that heart health and gut health are closely associated.

A remarkable surge of research interest in the human gut microbiota during the last decade has increased our understanding of the interaction between the gut, human physiology, and the impact of this interaction on health and disease.

The gut microbiome has now emerged as a key regulator of human physiology. Various external factors can alter the composition of the gut, and this alteration, in turn, affects our susceptibility to most chronic diseases. 

Recent studies highlight the importance of gut health in regulating heart function and cardiovascular disease. 

Damaging changes to the composition, or number, or diversity of gut bacteria (dysbiosis) has been linked to the development and progression of numerous diet related diseases, including cardiovascular disease.


The link between the gut and disease processes is facilitated by bacteria components and microbial metabolites. 

These bacterial components and microbial metabolites are capable of migrating from the gut environment to the general blood circulation, where they interact with and modify the functions of heart tissue and other tissues that can change heart function.

Heart health inadvertently impacts the gut. Most CVD risk factors, including obesity, aging, dietary patterns, and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to gut dysbiosis.

In the gut, dysbiosis contributes to intestinal inflammation and compromises the gut wall barrier, which, in turn, increases the levels of circulating bacterial components and microbial metabolites, facilitating the development of heart disease.

Balanced gut microbiota is necessary for a strong, healthy heart!

Link: WellnessOptions Website

About the Author

Lillian So Chan is the founding editor of WellnessOptions, a print magazine and website, and author of the book WellnessOptions Guide to Health published by Penguin Books. With over thirty years of experience in journalism and editing, Lillian has established unique editorial directions for several award-winning publications. She has worked for Maclean’s, Canada's largest news magazine, and served as a Governor and Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Governors at the Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada.

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Vahed SZ, et al (2018) Myocardial infraction and gut microbiota: an incidental connection, Pharmacological Research 129 (2018) 308-317,doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2017.11.008 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661817312896

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