Heart Failure Linked to Loss of Good Gut Bacteria
New research shows that in the guts of patients with heart failure, important groups of bacteria are found less often and the gut flora is less diverse than in healthy individuals.
It is well established that heart failure and gut health are linked. In instances of heart failure, the gut gets worse blood supply, the intestinal wall thickens and becomes more permeable (leaky gut) and bits of bacteria can make their way into the bloodstream.
In a new study published in the journal ESC Heart Failure, scientists analyzed the gut bacteria in stool samples from healthy individuals and heart failure patients, to better understand the role of the gut microbiome.
The results showed that families of important bacteria were significantly reduced in the patients with heart failure. There was also much less diversity in the different types of bacteria in the gut microbiomes of the heart failure patients compared to the healthy controls.
In particular, the heart failure patients lacked bacteria of the genera Blautia and Collinsella and two previously unknown genera belonging to the Erysipelotrichaceae and Ruminococcaceae.
Blautia has previously been shown to curb inflammation and heart failure is linked to systemic inflammation. The researchers believe that the alterations in the gut microbiome may contribute to systemic inflammation and thus contribute to the cause of the disease.
It’s too soon to know for sure, but subsequent research should clarify the cause and effect of altered gut microbiomes in heart failure patients.
Mark Luedde, Thorben Winkler, Femke-Anouska Heinsen, Malte C. Rühlemann, Martina E. Spehlmann, Amer Bajrovic, Wolfgang Lieb, Andre Franke, Stephan J. Ott, Norbert Frey. Heart failure is associated with depletion of core intestinal microbiota. ESC Heart Failure, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/ehf2.12155