Sterilizing Gut Microbiota Can Help Stop More Harm in Heart Failure


Published Date : Apr 24, 2018

It has been long known that bacteria that live inside and on our bodies can have a major impact on our health. A new study suggests that wiping out the microbiota in the gut can help a great deal in improving the functioning of the heart and in slowing down the damage to the heart that heart failure does. The study is based on the idea microbiota residing in the gastrointestinal tract influence heart failure by leading to an increase in the production of a variety of immune cells called the T cells.

In mice subjects induced with heart failure, researchers found out that treatment with antibiotics for a course of five weeks, targeted towards sterilizing the gut, proved to be healthy. The same group of researchers has previously proved that T cells penetrate the heart in people who have experiences a heart failure. The inflammation that is caused, which is a result of the immune response, is also known to play a key role in heart disease.

The result of the study suggests that when T cells are activated in the lymph nodes that are nearest to the heart and infiltrate the heart, they release proteins called as cytokines. This induces the heart to enlarge and thus scar tissues are formed. With treatment directed towards sterilizing the gut microbiota, these changes can be prevented and thus the damage to the heart that has had a heart failure.

Better understanding about how the gut microbiota plays a direct role in regulating the functioning of organs situated far away from the gut, such as the heart, can shed light into potential new treatment options for patients recently diagnosed with a heart failure to prevent the condition from worsening. The study demonstrates that the depletion of the gut microbiota can prevent heart failure. As such, the study has set the scene for further studies that will help in determining the components of the microbiota that play a role in the progression of heart failure.