Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. In the United States, it accounts for approximately 1 in 4 deaths. Many factors can increase the risk of developing heart disease, such as lack of physical activity, being overweight or obese, and smoking. Another important factor that doesn’t make the headlines is your gut health.
Public awareness about the existence and importance of the gut microbiome, which is the bacteria and other microorganisms that live in your digestive system. The microbiome plays a crucial role in your overall digestive health. By improving the health of your gut microbiome, you may improve your regularity and decrease bloating and gas.
Increasingly, research suggests that an imbalance of gut bacteria may have a harmful effect on other areas of your body as well. Excessive harmful bacteria can play a role in conditions such as obesity, arthritis, and depression. The condition also may affect your blood vessels. Chemicals or processes related to gut bacteria have been linked to a higher risk of atherosclerosis, heart failure, and major cardiovascular events like stroke or heart attack.
Although the research is continuing, you can take steps to improve your gut microbiome by taking certain supplements, modifying your diet, and adopting other healthy lifestyle measures. Here’s what you should know about the connection between gut and heart health, and how to maximize your gut health according to the latest data.
Your gut’s role in health and disease
Your gut microbiome has literally trillions of microorganisms that live in and on your body. Most are bacteria, although some are fungi and other organisms. The average adult has approximately 38 trillion bacteria in their microbiome, and most live in the digestive tract.
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