Microbiome manipulation could improve our heart health, but it’s not a ‘magic solution’

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Image: Healthline

“Is the fountain of youth in the gut microbiome?” This provocative question popped up a few months back, not in a dodgy online ad promoting probiotics, but as the headline of a March 2019 perspective article in the Journal of Physiology. Its inspiration: a new study that found when aged mice were given a broad-spectrum antibiotic to suppress their microbiomes, their arterial function bounced back to that of much younger animals.

[S]ome teams are investigating other ways to exploit the crosstalk between the gut and the cardiovascular system to develop new therapeutics.

Recently, [microbiologist Fredrik] Bäckhed, University of Wisconsin-Madison bacteriologist Federico Rey, and other colleagues found an apparently protective role for some species. Atherosclerosis-prone mice colonized by the butyrate-producing Roseburia intestinalis, for example, had fewer aortic lesions than mice lacking the bacterium, the team reported last year. 

Such findings suggest that probiotics could be developed to deliver protective species to people who lack them, Rey says. But, he cautions, “it’s not going to be a magic solution where you take this pill with this organism and you’re going to be healthy.”

Read full, original post: The Gut Microbiome Can Be a Boon or a Bane for Cardiovascular Health

Related article:  Tracking Neanderthal DNA in modern humans: There's been little change in 45,000 years
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