Gut Microbial Associations to Plasma Metabolites Linked to Cardiovascular Phenotypes and Risk
"Microbial Factory at Work: the metabolic pathways of our gut bacteria can influence human plasma metabolites and our risk of cardiometabolic disease.
Image courtesy of Vivian Yang.”
Kurilshikov et al examine links between gut microbiomes and host cardiovascular phenotypes.
Microbes in the gut play important roles in digestion, nutrient production, and host immunity. Indeed, recent studies indicate the composition of the gut microbiome can influence human health and the risk of obesity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders. Nonetheless, details of such links remain unclear. To dig deeper, Kurilshikov and colleagues have acquired blood and stool samples, diet information, and other health metrics from 1275 Dutch individuals—978 who were members of a population-based cohort, and 297 from an obesity cohort. This comprehensive analysis revealed, among other things, that the presence of Ruminococcus genus bacteria in the gut is linked to liver fat content in obese individuals, and that microbial biosynthesis of amino acid L-methionine is associated with atherosclerosis. Furthermore, 48 microbial pathways were linked to cardiovascular disease risk in the population-based cohort, with the top associated pathways including GDP-mannose biosynthesis. Microbes of the Bacteriodes phylum were also found to be negatively associated with cardiovascular disease. The identification of these more-specific links between gut microbes and host health sets the stage for the development of novel microbiome-modulation approaches to prevent and treat cardiometabolic diseases
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