"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Healthy gut, healthy heart

The gut is referred to as the “second brain,” since it produces most of the same neurotransmitters, chemicals released by nerves obligatory for communication with other nerves and tissues. The gut and brain are also connected through a typical partnership called the gut-brain axis that links biochemical signals to and from the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system.

But what concerning the gut and heart? Do they've the identical relationship?

Research suggests there could also be a link, but that it travels in a single direction — from the gut to the guts — and that keeping your gut healthy could also be one other strategy to protect against heart disease.

Gut and heart connection

The gut is the first home of trillions of microbes, collectively referred to as the human microbiota. These microbes aid in digestion, synthesize certain nutrients, and release substances which have wide-ranging effects on health.

“There is a complex interaction between the microbes in our gut and most of our body systems, including the vascular, nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, all of which are linked to cardiovascular health,” says Dr. Stanley Shaw, a cardiologist. at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Because weight loss program plays a vital role in shaping the gut microbiota, what you eat within the gut can affect heart health — for higher or worse.

One way the gut does that is with metabolites, substances that the gut microbiota creates when it breaks down food. A special gut metabolite, trimethylamine (TMA), is formed when gut microbes feed on choline, a nutrient present in pork, fish, poultry and eggs. In the liver, TMA is converted to trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a substance strongly related to the formation of plaque in arteries.

Research has shown that folks with high blood levels of TMAO usually tend to have a heart attack or stroke. Since pork is a significant source of TMA, cutting back may prevent the intestine from making an excessive amount of TMAO.

Indeed, a study within the September 2022 issue of Atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology Among nearly 4,000 people age 65 and older, those that ate a mean of 1.1 servings of pork per day had a 22 percent higher risk of heart disease than those that ate less.

The researchers identified that about 10 percent of this extra risk was as a consequence of increased levels of TMAO, in addition to two other metabolites – gamma-butyrobatin and crotonobatin – that are also formed by gut bacteria from pork components.

Fiber at work

Fiber helps the intestines and thus the guts. According to some estimates, a high-fiber weight loss program can reduce the danger of heart disease and stroke by as much as 30 percent. Fiber within the small intestine binds fat and cholesterol, slowing absorption and lowering blood levels of cholesterol.

But the gut microbiota also helps. Fiber is broken down by bacteria in the massive intestine to form short-chain fatty acids. These compounds interact with specific receptors on cells that regulate blood pressure, higher control blood sugar and body weight in individuals with diabetes, and reduce inflammation — all of which support heart health. Can improve.

Other supporting foods

It's unclear whether eating other foods that improve gut microbiota — for instance, probiotics (useful bacteria) present in yogurt and fermented foods — might also support heart health. .

The best advice to assist your gut help your heart is to follow a plant-based weight loss program just like the Mediterranean weight loss program or similar eating styles. These include limiting pork and eating loads of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, all of which may have useful effects on the gut, says Dr. Shaw. Your heart can be healthy.”

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