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  • Writer's pictureBrian Dooreck MD

A Good Heart ❤️ Starts in the Gut

Updated: Jul 24, 2023


Healthy foods help your gut diversity, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system for you and the gastroenterology doctor

What is the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or system?


The gastrointestinal (GI) has many functions. The digestive tract breaks down nutrients the body absorbs and uses them for energy, helps eliminate waste, and allows us to live. It is now known that the GI tract or GI system involves many components of immunity, emotional stress, chronic illness, and even cancer.


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What is the microbiome?


The bacteria and microorganisms that comprise the stomach and small intestines are called the microbiome. According to Harvard Health, the microbiome helps digestion and makes certain substances with wide-ranging health effects. It is the "gut bacteria," in simpler terms. We can refer to it also as "gut health."


Healthy foods help your gut diversity, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system for you and the gastroenterology doctor

How are my gut and heart connected?


Emerging details of this complex connection regarding the relationship between gut and heart health are becoming more apparent. Why has red meat long been associated with higher heart disease risk? Read on.


In addition to the above, the gut microbiome makes vitamins and protects against disease-causing microorganisms. Recent studies from the Cleveland Clinic demonstrated that the gut microbiome directly affects the function of blood platelets.


What are platelets?


Platelets are cells that circulate in the blood and clot to keep us from bleeding. Platelets also directly influence one's risk for heart attack and stroke.


What is the connection?


The gut bacteria break down certain nutrients. The broken-down nutrients create compounds that are further converted in the liver to end products. Let me explain.

Nutrients such as (1) choline (found in red meat, egg yolks, and dairy products) and (2) L-carnitine (found in red meat, some energy drinks, and supplements) are broken down by gut bacteria to trimethylamine (TMA). Then TMA in the liver is converted into the compound trimethylene N-oxide (TMAO).


How your gut bacteria may be linked to heart health from CBS This Morning



What is TMAO?


High levels of TMAO lead to a higher risk for clot-related events. These life-threatening clot-related events, for example, are heart attacks and strokes, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality.


High levels of TMAO lead to a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Furthermore, they showed higher premature death rates in patients with stable coronary artery disease and a four-fold more significant risk of dying from any cause over the following five years.


What is the meaning of TMAO?


Positive altering of your gut microbiome can help reduce blood vessel damage, leading to a stronger cardiovascular system. This also opens research for potential new heart disease therapies.


What foods can cause a high TMAO level?

  • Red meat

  • Egg yolks

  • Dairy products

  • Energy drinks and supplements


Is there testing for TMAO now?


In 2015, the Cleveland HeartLab introduced the first TMAO lab-developed test to help clinicians identify TMAO blood levels in patients. In 2017, Quest Diagnostics acquired Cleveland HeartLab.


Healthy foods help your gut diversity, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system for you and the gastroenterology doctor

How can I lower my TMAO levels?


Minimize the consumption of:

  • Full-fat dairy products (whole milk, egg yolk, cream cheese, and butter)

  • Processed and unprocessed red meat (beef, pork, lamb, and veal)

  • Nutritional supplements and energy drinks contain choline, phosphatidylcholine (lecithin), and/or L-carnitine.


Vegetarians and vegans, who avoid meat products, for instance, produce little TMAO

What can I eat for lower TMAO levels?


Eat a diverse diet rich in plant foods and whole-grain fiber. Compounds are being studied that minimize TMAO production from their gut microbiome. Some of these compounds are found naturally in Mediterranean diet foods (such as red wine and extra virgin olive oil).


What we eat plays a major role in the composition of our gut micobrota.

Tips en Español


Que es el tracto gastrointestinal?


El systema gastrointestinal tiene muchas funciones. El tubo digestivo descompone los nutrientrientes y los utiliza para obtener energia ayuda a eliminar los desperdicios y nos ayuda a vivir. El systema gastrointestinal es conocido por incluir muchos componentes de inmunidad, estres emocional, enfermedad chronica, y cancer.


Que es la microbioma?


El estomago y el intestino delgado esta compuesto de bacteria y microorganismos llamado el microbioma.


Hay alguna conexion entre el estomago y el corazon?
  • Las plaquetas que circulan en la sangre nos ayudan a detener un sangrado.

  • Las plaquetas de sangre teinen reisgo de causar infarto cardiaco/accidente cerebrovascular.

  • Coline-1 nutriente se encuentra en carne roja, yemas de huevo y productos lacteos.

  • 2- 1 de Carnitina se encuentra en carne roja, bebidas energizantes

  • Estos nutrientes se descomponen con la bacteria del estomago.

  • El higado decompone los nutreintes que forman TMAO.


Que es TMAO?
  • La production de TMAO a partir de TMA (Trimetilamina) es derivada de la degradacion de nutreintes occacionadas por bacterias intestinales.

  • Estudios han demostrado que niveles elvedaos the TMAO aumenta el reisgo de arteriosclerosis y enfermedad cardiovascular.


Que comidas llevan altos niveles de TMAO?
  • Carne Roja.

  • Yemas de huevo.

  • Bebidas y suplementos energeticos.

  • Productos lacteos.


Que puedo consumir para bajar los niveles altos de TMAO?
  • Consumir menos puerco, carne procesada.

  • Consumir menos mantequilla, leche entera, y queso crema.

  • Consumir menos suplementos o bebidas energeticas.

  • Mantega una dieta en nivel altos de fibra y aciete virgen.

  • Dieta vegetariana o mediterriana.


Niveles altos de TMAO aumentan el riesgo de arteriosclerosis y enefermedades cardiovasculares.

Personally


I eat a high-fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.


"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

Gut Health ➕ Patient Advocacy with Navigation ➕ Life Balance


If you were looking for information about Private Healthcare Navigation and Patient Advocacy from Executive Health Navigation


Connect with Dr. Dooreck on LinkedIn, where he focuses his sharing on Health, Diet, Nutrition, Exercise, Lifestyle, and Balance.


 

gastroenterology | colonoscopy doctor | colonoscopy and gastroenterology services | gastro doctor | gi doctor | gastrointestinal diagnostic centers | public health

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