Health: intestinal bacteria may influence the risk for heart attack and stroke immensely

Bacteria in the intestine, risk of heart attack affect

A healthy intestinal flora makes an important contribution to the protection against infections, allergies and other diseases, is known for a long time. Researchers have now found that intestinal bacteria also have an influence on the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Number of deaths due to heart disease increased

According to health experts, the number of deaths is diseases increased by heart in the past few years. In the case of acute heart attacks, there was a decrease in mortality, reported the German society for cardiology – Cardiovascular research e. V. at the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, around 280,000 people in Germany suffer per year, still a heart attack, approximately 50,000 of them die of the consequences. Researchers have shown that certain bacterial metabolic products in the colon increase the risk to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

Causes and risk factors for heart attack

Among the well-known heart attack-causes, among other things, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels in the blood, Smoking, Obesity, lack of exercise and an increase in the number of heart attacks in the family.

Especially patients that have already suffered a “cardiovascular event”, i.e. a heart attack or a stroke, are at risk.

Researchers from Germany and the USA have now investigated in two studies with a total of over 600 patients who had recently suffered a stroke, a previously less known risk-factor: The so-called Microbiome, the bacteria in the gut.

As the Berlin-based Institute for health research / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), reported in a communication, the study was conducted by BIH-Professor Ulf landmesser and colleagues from the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and Professor Matthias Endres and colleagues of the clinic for neurology of the Charité hospital and of Hannover Medical school.

The results were published in the journal “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology”.

Connection between inflammation and atherosclerosis

The researchers had measured in their investigation, in particular, the concentration of a metabolic product of the bacteria, the trimethyl amine oxide, and with the risk as compared to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

“We have found that a Patient with a high level of trimethyl amine oxide concentration in the blood is twice to five times the risk for a heart attack or stroke had.as a Patient with a low concentration of the metabolites,” said Ulf Landmesser, Director of the clinic for cardiology at the Campus Benjamin Franklin of the Charité and the medical Director of the CharitéCentrum for cardiac, circulatory and vascular medicine at the Charité &#8211… Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Apparently, the trimethylamine oxide stimulates the cells of the inner layer of the blood vessels, the endothelial cells to produce factors that promote the clotting of blood and vascular inflammation.

This, in turn, inflammatory blood cells attracts monocytes, which walls, in turn, in the blood vessel atherosclerosis and thrombosis, promote.

According to the country knife is a not a new idea: “The idea that inflammation is associated with atherosclerosis, goes back to Rudolf Virchow, the has the already described 160 years ago here in Berlin.”

New possibilities of the prevention

However, the realization that the Microbiome and heart attack or stroke related offers completely new opportunities to prevent these diseases.

The Berlin physicians have established with their colleagues from the USA, an international transatlantic research network of Excellence, to search for substances that can inhibit the formation of harmful metabolites in the bacteria.

“Conventional drugs that inhibit blood clotting, reduce the risk of heart attack, but also increase the risk of bleeding,” said Landmesser.

“The Interesting thing about this new approach is that you could reduce the influence of the bacteria to the heart attack and stroke risk without increasing the bleeding risk. So, may be a particularly elegant method to achieve the goal.“

Heart attack risk cut by food additive

Country knives has plans to test the findings of already in the next three years, in a clinical study of patients.

But that’s not enough: “We have not yet found other interesting metabolites in the Microbiome, which influence the Cholesterol metabolism,” the expert says.

“It could be such a bacteria-metabolite orally administered as a food additive, and so the heart attack to reduce risk.”

Therefore, it would be completely wrong to demonize the roommate in the gut all of them, said Professor Ulf Landmesser.

“We have more bacteria in us than we have cells of the body. And these bacteria do many things that are good for us. And we want to explore also, of course, and possibly preventive approaches.“ (ad)