Emerging research has demonstrated a role of dysbiosis in the gut microbiome and its impact on cardiovascular health. According to a new study published this week in Beneficial Microbes, researchers investigated the cardiovascular effects of prebiotic and probiotic supplementation in healthy individuals.
This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-arm intervention study in 88 healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 years with a body mass index (BMI) between 20 and 34.9. Assessments included anthropometric measures, a lipid profile, blood pressure, pulse wave analysis, endothelial function, and a medical health history questionnaire. These were taken at baseline and at the end of the study. Everyone was instructed to maintain their regular exercise and dietary habits throughout the study. Each participant supplemented with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis strain BL04, with and without Escherichia coli-targeting bacteriophages, Bacillus subtilis strain DE111 or a maltodextrin-based placebo for a 4-week period.
As a result, there were no significant changes on the cardiovascular biomarkers in the individuals consuming B. lactis with or without bacteriophages. However, supplementation with B. subtilis demonstrated a significant reduction in total cholesterol levels and non–high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. This is most likely due to the effect that short chain fatty acids (SCFA) have on cholesterol metabolism. B. subtilis is known to stimulate the production of lactic acid by enhancing the growth of Lactobacillus spp., and SCFAs have been shown to inhibit the synthesis of hepatic cholesterol leading to a reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and non-HDL cholesterol levels. In addition, there was a trend showing improvements in LDL cholesterol levels and a modest increase in reactive hyperaemia index (RHI), a measure of endothelial function.
This study demonstrates that B. subtilis supplementation may be beneficial for improving risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. Other nutrients to consider for dyslipidemia include delta- and gamma-tocotrienol isomers and fish oil supplementation.
It is also important to look deeper into the cardiovascular system. Health-care providers have many tools to assess cardiovascular health and support the body’s physiology. It is essential to perform a thorough assessment for these patients. This may include looking at an advanced lipid profile, inflammatory markers, nutrient status, oxidative stress factors, heavy metals, and a fatty acid profile.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS