(Mirror Daily, United States) – Researchers potentially found a new way to approach the problem, by discovering that eliminating gut microbes might prevent heart disease induced by diet. It’s possible that through the innovative therapy, they could reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems later in life. In the U.S. it’s a major problem.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 610,000 people die each year due to heart disease. That means that around 1 in 4 people perish due to cardiovascular problems. It’s the leading cause of death of both men and women in the United States.
Heart disease is often linked with atherosclerosis, which implies a hardening of the arteries. However, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have potentially found a way to prevent it, and, in turn, prevent cardiovascular problems in the future. They found a compound called DMB, which is naturally found in extra virgin olive oil, red wine, balsamic vinegar, and grape seed oils.
Their discovery could also offer an explanation as to why the Mediterranean diet, which implies a lot of olive oil and wine, is beneficial for the heart, as previous studies found. With the use of DMB, their mice subjects proved excellent results. It essentially targets the microbes within the gut, called the microbiome. The compound suppresses the secretion of a damaging agent.
Lead author of the study and head of cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Stanley Hazen, stated that DMB stops another compound called TMA. TMA is excreted after the gut microbes digest certain nutrients, such as choline, lecithin, and carnitine. These are naturally found in high quantities in foods, such as meat, egg yolk, and dairy products rich in fat.
When these nutrients appear the body, it turns the TMA into TMAO, which has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, including heart attack, stroke, or atherosclerosis. Essentially, the nutrients enter the body through food, they interact with the gut microbes, which makes them secrete TMA. And then, the TMA turns into the harmful TMAO.
The researchers noted that by treating mice subjects with DMB, they limit or stop the appearance of TMAO without any other consequences. Other therapies have proved to be toxic to the human body, which can cause liver damage. The DMB treatment didn’t actually kill the gut microbes, but only suppressed the TMA. That means that there are virtually less chances of the body becoming immune.
Thus, the new treatment keeps the microbiome intact, suppresses the secretion of the damaging TMAO, and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, which could lead to heart disease. The experiment has proven itself highly successful on mice. Researchers stated their eagerness to begin human trials, as finding a way of working with the gut bacteria could prove useful in many areas.
If successful, their therapy could potentially help other diseases that involve the microbiome, such as obesity and diabetes. However, heart disease is their first and centered target.
Image source: justinhealth.com
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