Could There be More to the Proverb "The Way to a Persons Heart is Through Their Stomach"?

Cholesterol: The Good and Bad__ The trouble arises when the balance between the two cholesterol carriers gets out of whack. High LDL-cholesterol that result from poor diet, age or genetics may result in plaques in the arteries that can burst, leading to heart attack or stroke. Due to its connection with heart disease it’s no wonder that LDL-cholesterol is referred to as “bad” cholesterol. Indeed, a 1% drop in LDL-cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 3%. The Way to Our Hearts Through Our Gut What is not necessarily obvious is the role our gut plays in cholesterol and heart health.

Scientists are now studying how the microbial communities in our gut (collectively known as our microbiome) interact with each other (http://www.economist.com/node/21560523). Interestingly, for metabolic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the microbiome seems to play a vital role. Researchers now suggest that the types and levels of microbes in the gut may be used to predict a person’s chance of having a heart attack (http://www.fasebj.org/content/26/4/1727.long).

Microbiome Plus+™ for Heart Health One strategy to shift the microbiome to health is through the ingestion of probiotics. But research also shows that probiotics are not “one size fits all”. Two recent clinical studies showed that when patients with high cholesterol levels were given daily doses of the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 (Microbiome Plus+™), their blood cholesterol levels dropped by 10-12% compared to patients that were given a placebo. (Link to website publication). Microbiome Plus+™ was selected and optimized for production of a key enzyme called bile salt hydrolase. Once ingested, Microbiome Plus+™ uses its potent enzymatic machinery to help modulate cholesterol levels and promote heart health. Microbiome Plus+™ for Inflammation In addition to keeping LDL-cholesterol in check, calming inflammation in the body may be just as important for preventing heart disease. Starting in 1997, Dr. Paul Ridker of Harvard Medical School began finding a relation between an inflammation compound called C-reactive protein (CRP) and heart disease (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=712737). It was shown that elevated CRP levels almost tripled the risk for heart attack and doubled the risk for stroke. Indeed, Microbiome Plus+™ when given twice daily for 9 weeks, was shown to reduce CRP levels by a significant amount when compared to patients taking placebo. Microbiome Plus+™ also greatly reduced the number of subjects with CRP levels in the so-called “high-risk” group. With rapidly increasing rates of heart disease throughout the world, the development of Microbiome Plus+™ as a safe and effective probiotic is timely. When it comes to probiotics, the way to our hearts are indeed through our gut.

Sources and further reading The human microbiome: Me, myself, us. The Economist. August 2012.

http://www.economist.com/node/21560523 V. Lam et al. Intestinal microbiota determine severity of myocardial infarction in rats. The Journal of the Federation of American Socities for Experimental Biology. April 2012, pages 1727-35. http://www.fasebj.org/content/26/4/1727.long Paul M. Ridker. Evaluating novel cardiovascular risk factors: can we better predict heart attacks?. Annals of Internal Medicine. June 1999, pages 933-37. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=712737

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