a fluorescent stomach glows with various multicolored biomes
Category: Health Magazine, Winter 2023

Title:Heart failure’s relation to gut health

Some people who experience heart failure have less biodiversity in their gut or have elevated gut metabolites, both of which are associated with more hospital visits and greater risk of death, according to a systematic review of research findings led by Georgetown University School of Nursing.

The gut microbiome is a delicately balanced ecosystem composed primarily of bacteria as well as viruses, fungi, and protozoa. It can affect cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in the United States.

The investigators looked at seven years of genetic, pharmacologic, and other types of research from around the world to generate a wide perspective on how the microbiome can influence heart failure. The investigators zeroed in on one harmful metabolite, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), that can be produced by churning gut microbiota when full-fat dairy products, egg yolks, and red meat are consumed.

“There is now an appreciation of a back-and-forth relationship between the heart and elements in the gut,” says Kelley Anderson, Ph.D., FNP, CHFN, associate professor of nursing at Georgetown and corresponding author of the study. “We are currently developing a forward-looking study to evaluate the microbiome in patients with heart failure.

The analysis, which appeared in June’s Heart Failure Reviews, was also authored by Emily Couvillon Alagha, Emma Mykityshyn, and Casey French at Georgetown and Erin P. Ferranti and Carolyn Miller Reilly at Emory University. The authors report no conflicts of interest related to the study and no outside funding.

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