Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the US with over 600,000 deaths each year. While gut health and heart disease may seem unrelated, in reality, the friendly bacteria living in our intestines may offer more benefits to our heart and overall health than ever imagined.
Inflammation in the gut can drive an inflammatory response in blood vessels that run to and from the heart, leading to hardening of the arteries and ultimately heart disease. The Lyon Study published in the journal Circulation found that inflammation is even more central to heart disease than elevated levels of cholesterol.
“When we talk about the relationship between gut health and heart disease, we should focus on inflammation caused by a condition called leaky gut,” says Tina Anderson, CEO of Just Thrive Probiotic. “Leaky Gut Syndrome causes increased intestinal permeability which allows toxins to leak into the bloodstream, triggering widespread inflammation.” Symptoms include bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, aches and pains – to name a few.
“In the presence of endotoxins, the immune system reacts by sending a message to the body to initiate a ‘protective’ inflammatory response. These endotoxins lodge in the body’s tissues and continuously ignite an inflammatory immune response that threatens our overall health instead of protecting it,” says Anderson
These toxins cause small injuries to the vascular wall and incite the immune system to produce inflammatory cytokines, and more inflammation and oxidation that ultimately produces plaque in the arteries, explains Anderson. “This dangerous inflammatory cycle increases the likelihood of heart disease.”
In this light, according to Anderson, healing the gut is a vitally important first step in the fight against cardiovascular disease. Here are her four simple tips anyone can adopt for improving gut status to reduce the onset of inflammation:
- Take a daily probiotic. Probiotics – the supplemental form of healthy bacteria – are a key daily component to your diet. Probiotics help increase your body’s supply and quality of healthy bacteria. Look for spore-forming Bacillus strains naturally designed to survive the harsh stomach environment and thrive in the body’s digestive tract. A recent human clinical trial on leaky gut showed spore-forming Bacillus strains could reverse leaky gut (endotoxin response in the bloodstream) within 30 days. [World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology]
- Eat fermented foods. In addition to a daily probiotic, fermented foods can also provide healthy bacteria that can help reduce inflammation and fight disease. Fermented foods are naturally rich in beneficial bacteria and can help balance your inner ecosystem to further reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Eat a whole-food, plant-based, high-fiber diet to give your gut the nutrients it needs to functional optimally. Read every label. Try eliminating common food allergens like gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, yeast, soy, and peanuts.
- Reduce your sugar intake. Period. End of sentence. Reduce your sugar!
For additional tips visit Just Thrive Probiotic.
The Editorial Team at Lake Oconee Health is made up of skilled health and wellness writers and experts, led by Daniel Casciato who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We aim to provide our readers with valuable insights and guidance to help them lead healthier and happier lives.