The most common lifestyle risk factors of heart diseases and stroke are unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco smoke, and heavy alcohol drinking, and in a new study, researchers have discovered another link between gut bacteria and health. The new study has found that the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract could have an influence on the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Researchers reviewed previous studies and found that a diet high in fat compromises the health of gut bacteria by causing gut dysbiosis. Microbial imbalance in the gut was found to cause the progression of cardiovascular diseases by increasing two major risk factors: atherosclerosis and high blood pressure or hypertension. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which the arteries build up plaque, which is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. This disease can result in serious ailments, such as heart attack, stroke, and death. On the other hand, hypertension is a disease wherein the pressure of blood flowing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood is too high.