Gut Bacteria Linked To Heart Failure and Mortality Risk

Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at CWRU Director, Cardiomyopathy Program, Kaufman Center for Heart Failure Research Director, Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation Medicine Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH 44195MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
W. H. Wilson Tang, MD FACC FAHA

Professor of Medicine,
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at CWRU
Director, Cardiomyopathy Program, Kaufman Center for Heart Failure
Research Director, Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation Medicine
Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH 44195

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Tang: A chemical byproduct of gut bacteria-dependent digestion, TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide), was previously shown to contribute to heart disease development. In this study, blood levels of TMAO for the first time are linked to heart failure development and mortality risk.

Medical Research: What was the most surprising about the results?

Dr. Tang: The present studies are the first to link blood levels of a specific gut microbe generated product from dietary nutrients found in meat, egg yolk and high fat dairy products to heart failure development and adverse prognosis.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Tang: Our new results suggest that understanding why TMAO levels are elevated in the setting of heart failure may provide important insights into how intestinal bacteria contribute to disease progression in heart failure and increased risks.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Tang: Dietary modulation or targeted interventions to alter gut microbe generated TMAO (avoidance of red meat, egg yolk, high fat dairy products) may have the potential to alter the natural history of disease progression in heart failure and warrants future investigations.

Citation:

Tang W, Wang Z, Fan Y, et al. Prognostic Value of Elevated Levels of Intestinal Microbe-Generated Metabolite Trimethylamine-N-Oxide in Patients With Heart Failure: Refining the Gut Hypothesis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(18):1908-1914. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.02.617.

 

 

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