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Link Found Between Gut Microbiota and Risk of Heart Failure

A recent study suggests that there is a link between changes in gut microbiota and heart failure. The study did not determine, however, which comes first — the gut changes or the cardiovascular issues.

Researchers examined data from 20 heart failure patients and 20 healthy controls. They used high-throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to determine what gut microbiota was present in each group.

After examining the data, the researchers determined that people with heart failure had significantly lower diversity in their gut microbiota, when compared with the controls. Specifically, the heart failure patients had less of the bacteria of the genera Blautia and Collinsella, as well as two other genera in the Erysipelotrichaceae and Ruminococcaceae families.

Previous research suggests that those bacteria are associated with reductions in inflammation. Increased inflammation is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. However, they were unable to determine whether the change in gut flora happened first or the inflammation caused the change in gut flora.

Researchers from the University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein in Germany led the study. It was published on April 21, 2017, in ESC Heart Failure.

Previous studies suggest that walking faster, adding more vitamin D, antioxidants, and omega-3s to your diet may also help reduce the risk of heart failure.

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