With passing time, there is an increase in research on different important areas of health. For instance, the gut microbiota is the subject of various past as well as ongoing studies. This is because researchers now know that these bacteria play a significant role in the general health of a person.
In a similar way, a new study highlights yet another role of the gut microbiota. A small-scale study explores how the health of the heart may influence the diversity and types of bacteria in the gut. Additionally, it also examines how the bacteria may further affect the stability of the coronary plaque.
Statistically, heart conditions are the leading cause of death worldwide. One of the most common cardiovascular events which increase the risk of death is a heart attack. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that around 735,000 people in the United States alone have a heart attack yearly.
Heart attack in an individual occurs due to a number of different reasons. This includes ‘clogged arteries’ which happens as a result of the amalgamation of plaque in the arteries.
Now, recent studies show that there may also be other factors which impact the stability of plaque and risk of heart attacks. The new research further explores one of the factors.
The researchers in the study were from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The leading author of the study was Eugenia Pisano. The findings of the research were also a part of the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2019 in Paris this month.
Acute Coronary Syndrome Affects Type Of Gut Bacteria
For the purpose of the research, the researchers recruited thirty people. All of these participants had acute coronary syndrome.
Acute coronary syndrome is an umbrella term for a number of different complications. The common factor in all of them is that they reduce blood flow to the heart of an individual. These conditions may even result in myocardial infarction or other issues.
In addition to the thirty people, there were also ten other participants in another group. These participants had stable angina which is a minor heart condition that causes chest pain.
To examine the gut microbiota as well as bacteria in the coronary plaque, the researchers took fecal samples and angioplasty balloons. After doing so, the researchers found two new things.
Firstly, it was found that the bacteria in the coronary plaque played a role in causing inflammation. The two main species that were pro-inflammatory and in the plaque were Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria.
In the fecal samples, there were two separate species of bacteria – Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. However, the composition of these bacteria was different in the group with stable angina and acute coronary syndrome.
In the former, there was a higher composition of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. On the other hand, the latter had higher composition of Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Fusobacteria.
According to researchers, this shows that the chemicals emitted by these bacteria affect coronary stability. This may further impact the chances of having a heart attack in a person. However, the researchers are not sure about how important the role of the bacteria is or to what extent can they increase the risk of complications.