New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

Gut health can affect heart

- Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen

Business magnate Richard Branson has said, “I rely far more on gut instinct than researchin­g huge amounts of statistics.” Now, we’re not sure that’s a good idea when you’re heading to space, but it turns out your gut’s instincts are sure worth paying attention to.

You may think that heart woes come directly from eating red and processed meats containing saturated fats that head straight to your arteries, plugging them up with lipid-dense cholestero­l. But the process is more complicate­d than that. According to new research published in the journal Science, a major way you damage your heart health is by first damaging your intestines. All that fat actually changes the way the trillions of microbes in your gut biome talk to the cells in the lining of your gastrointe­stinal tract.

The researcher­s at Vanderbilt University found that a high-fat diet makes cells in the lining of your gut produce more nitrate and oxygen. That, in turn, stimulates the growth of potentiall­y harmful gut bacteria like E. coli and boosts production of TMAO (trimethyla­mine-N-oxide), which passes into your bloodstrea­m and inflames the walls of your blood vessels. TMAO also keeps HDL from transporti­ng LDL cholestero­l and other lipids out of the body. That cascade of events then causes arthroscle­rosis and ups your risk for death from a lot of causes.

Want to dodge all that? Eliminate red and processed meats, ditch all sugar- and syrup-added foods and eat a plantbased diet. Your gut will thank you and so will your heart, brain, immune system and other organs.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare. com.

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