While it is understood that the gut microbiome is altered in individuals with chronic heart disease, until now studies have been conducted on people taking medication for their condition. It has therefore not been established whether changes to the gut microbiome are as a result of the heart disease, or the medication.
In addition, the development of heart disease often coincides with obesity and a diagnosis of T2DM which are also known to be contributing factors in dysbiosis.
As a result, two recent studies have been conducted to understand whether modulation of the gut microbiome occurs independently in those with heart disease, regardless of medication, obesity or T2DM.
The studies looked at 1241 individuals, who were either i) healthy ii) obese and with a diagnosis of T2DM but no diagnosis of heart disease iii) diagnosed with either myocardial infarction, angina pectoris or heart failure.
Results showed that while 50% of changes to the gut microbiome occurred due to medications, of the remaining 50%, 75% of the changes took place at the same time as the development of obesity and T2DM, several years before heart disease was evident.
These changes continued in those individuals with develop heart disease, who also displayed specific heart disease related alterations. A loss of bacterial diversity and a shift from beneficial to pathogenic strains was seen in this cohort, with a corresponding decrease in the production of SCFAs.
Fromentin, S. et al. (2022) Microbiome and metabolome features of the cardiometabolic disease spectrum. Nature Medicine 28, 303–314. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-01688-4
Talmor-Barkan, Y. et al. (2022) Metabolomic and microbiome profiling reveals personalized risk factors for coronary artery disease. Nature Medicine 28, 295–302. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-01686-6
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