What would you think if we told you that the trillions of microbes living in your intestinal tract—referred to as gut microbiota—contains 100-fold more genes than the remaining of your body and that these gut microbiome may have a dramatic impact on your cardiovascular health? This relationship can be a prime example of the brain-gut association.
How Important is the Microbiome to Cardiovascular Health
Experts are uncovering more and more proof that the gut microbiome has a role in person’s overall health and possibilities of developing any malady. Thus far, type 2 diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and obesity are some of the conditions that exemplify the host/ gut microbiome interactions, and these three have a big role in cardiovascular health.
What is the role of trimethylamine-N-oxide?
The most convincing proof illustrating a link between the microbiome and cardiovascular health involves a substance referred to as trimethylamine-N-oxide, that is made by gut bacteria from choline, lecithin, and L-carnitine-rich foods, like dairy, meat, eggs, and fish. High levels of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) are related to diabetes, hardening of the arteries, colon cancer, chronic kidney disease, and an enhanced risk of vessel events. At the same time, there are associations between varied risk factors for cardiovascular disease and composition of the microbiome, like high blood pressure, inflammation, and impaired metabolism.
The relationship between trimethylamine-N-oxide and cardiovascular risk has gained right smart attention, most so that specialists are exploring new ways to check for this substance within the blood to assist predict future risk of attack, stroke, and death among folks that seem to be healthy otherwise.
One such check was developed by specialists at Cleveland Clinic and measures blood levels of TMAO, that is formed by the liver once bacteria within the intestinal tract digest certain nutrients, together with L-carnitine and lecithin. Basically, the higher a person’s level of TMAO, the more probably he or she is to accumulate cholesterol in their artery walls, that in turn boosts their risk of getting a attack or stroke.
More specifically, researchers evaluated the strength of the TMAO test and found that people who had the highest levels of TMAO had a 2.5 times enhanced risk for experiencing a serious cardiovascular event than those who had the lowest levels throughout 3 years of follow-up.
How to cut back TMAO levels
You can take number of steps to cut back TMAO levels, make a healthier microbiome, and therefore lower your risk of cardiovascular events. For example:
Vegetarian, vegan, or Mediterranean diet: analysis has shown that vegans and vegetarians have microbiome bacteria that make less TMAO than do meat eaters. an equivalent is true for those who follow a Mediterranean diet.
Consume prebiotics and probiotics: Prebiotics are plant fibers that nourish probiotics, the useful bacteria within the gut. It’s been shown in animal studies that prebiotics and probiotics may reduce TMAO levels. Some food sources of prebiotics like raw garlic, leeks, onions, dandelion greens, chicory root, asparagus, and jicama. Probiotics are often found in fermented vegetables (e.g., sauerkraut, kimchee), yogurt, kefir.
Take vitamins B and D: at least one study in adults has shown that supplementation with B vitamins (i.e., folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12) together with vitamin D3 (1,200 IU) reduces levels of TMAO.
Use resveratrol supplements: This polyphenol, found within the skins of red grapes, red wine, berries, and peanuts, has been shown to cut back blood levels of TMAO in mice vulnerable to atherosclerosis.