A Gut Feeling About Heart Health

Hippocrates is credited with saying “all disease begins in the gut,” over 2500 years ago, and the more we learn about human physiology, the more he seems to have been right.  Researchers around the world have been putting together pieces of the puzzle of human physiology for decades, making great strides recently with revealing the connections between seemingly discrete systems.  The gut microbiome has been central to many of the studies of the 21st century, establishing the role and power of the hundreds of billions of microbes that live in our gastrointestinal tract.

We no longer view the bacterial communities in our gut as being just along for the ride, but as an integral part of digestion, metabolism, inflammation, and immunity.  Doctors and researchers at Johns Hopkins and Harvard medical schools have published several studies on the link between the bacteria living in our gut, and cardiovascular health – seeing impacts on blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and chronic inflammation.  The association between age-associated dysbiosis, the imbalance of the microbiome, and cardiovascular health in mice was shown in a study by the University of Colorado at Boulder, and it demonstrated that restoring the balance of the gut biota led to improvement and restoration of their vascular health!  This study was able to link populations of pathogenic and pro-inflammatory bacteria in the gut that built up over time to elevated levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are directly linked to heart disease.

It’s been established that bacteria in our gut not only help digest our food, but also produce compounds that are absorbed into the body and interact with our cells.  These compounds can include toxins that trigger inflammation, as well as compounds that counteract inflammation and the damage it can inflict. The key to maintaining the balance of beneficial gut bacteria, is to support those healthy populations of bacteria through nutrition and a hospitable gut environment.

Probiotics are being studied at a higher frequency than ever to determine their potential role in prevention of heart disease – but a key factor in probiotic bacteria having an impact on the gut microbiome and having an anti-inflammatory effect is whether or not they are active inside the gut.  Most probiotics on the market are inactive, damaged, asleep, or dead when they get into the small intestine, where most of the digestion, absorption, and immune activity are happening. Consequently, they have very little direct impact on the existing microbiome.  Our ACTPRO™ technology has enabled us to deliver the optimal number of the right bacteria – selected for their abilities in reducing inflammation and fitting into the gut populations – and see over 90% activation and growth of our bacteria in the small intestine and throughout the whole gut.

With the development of our ACTPRO technology and advancements throughout the medical field on the gut microbiome, it could be more accurate today for Hippocrates to say “all health begins in the gut.”

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