The Role of Gastrointestinal & Extra-Gastrointestinal Microbes in Cardiovascular Disease
Could perturbations in the GI microbiome contribute to cardiovascular disease? Is it possible that other chronic infections such as those seen in periodontitis increase the risk of a heart attack via their ability to trigger inflammation and metabolic imbalance? The evidence suggests so.
Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in the developed world. Although traditional risk factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, elevated cholesterol, obesity and diabetes are well known, about 50% of people who have heart attacks do not have these traditional risk factors.
While the medical system has been slow to inform the public about non-traditional risk factors, a growing body of research has begun to uncover mechanisms by which the GI microbiome, chronic infections and other factors may increase cardiovascular disease risk via inflammatory mechanisms and alterations in endocrine and nutritional status.
I believe it is our duty to inform clients and patients of these risks and offer them an opportunity to evaluate their cardiovascular risk in the context of the latest research.
- Introduce clinicians to the research linking GI microbiome disruption with cardiovascular diseases
- Explore the associations between H. pylori, SIBO and Candida with CVD
- Identify a possible role for periodontitis and oral health in CVD
- Introduce the evidence supporting a possible role for other extra-gastrointestinal microbes in CVD, including Chlamydia pneumoniae and viruses
- Raise awareness of the detailed laboratory testing currently available for clinicians for conducting detailed cardiovascular risk assessment far beyond standard blood lipids testing