DEC 19, 2015 6:40 PM PST

A New Way to Treat Cardiovascular Disease

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
Manipulating the activity of the gut microbiome has been linked to reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease like stroke and atherosclerosis. A team of researchers from the Cleveland Clinic published their results from this study in Cell this week.

Atherosclerosis risk can be increased by eating meat and dairy products with high amounts of choline and carnitine. These nutrients alone are not damaging to the arteries, but “gut microbes convert these nutrients into a compound called trimethylamine (TMA), which in turn is converted by host enzymes into a metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO).” These metabolites then increase the risk for heart disease like atherosclerosis.

In the past, scientists attempted to reduce risk produced in situations like this by preventing transition of TMA into TMAO. After TMA build-up caused negative side effects, scientists knew this wouldn’t be a viable option. This led the team from the Cleveland Clinic to try halting the reaction from the gut microbe angle instead.

Researchers from the team identified 3,3-dimethyl-1-butanol (DMB), which is “naturally abundant in some cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and grape seed oils” that inhibits choline production via gut microbes and choline.

“In mice that were on a choline rich diet and genetically predisposed to atherosclerosis, DMB treatment substantially lowered TMAO levels and inhibited the formation of arterial plaques without producing toxic effects,” the team reported.

Fortunately, DMB could inhibit TMA production effectively without killing the gut microbes, which was important to the team.

"There should be less selective pressure for the development of resistance against a nonlethal drug than an antibiotic," Hazen said.

In addition, since the potential DMB-based drug would be targeting the gut bacteria instead of human cells, it could be used as an entirely new approach to treating cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Source: EurekAlert
About the Author
I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
APR 12, 2022
Cardiology
What Happens During a Heart Attack?
APR 12, 2022
What Happens During a Heart Attack?
Knowing could save your life.
MAY 03, 2022
Cardiology
Marathon Training Reduces Your Heart's Age
MAY 03, 2022
Marathon Training Reduces Your Heart's Age
First-time marathon runners in a 6-month training program saw major heart benefits in a recent study.
APR 24, 2022
Technology
Portable MRIs for Detecting Stroke
APR 24, 2022
Portable MRIs for Detecting Stroke
Strokes are considered medical emergencies. They happen quickly and with devastating results. During a stroke, blood flo ...
MAY 12, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Researchers Show Influenza Directly Infects the Heart
MAY 12, 2022
Researchers Show Influenza Directly Infects the Heart
Heart complications are often observed in severe or fatal cases of Influenza. These problems can include electrical malf ...
SEP 15, 2022
Cardiology
Lack of Sleep Increases Our Health Risks and Lowers Our Empathy
SEP 15, 2022
Lack of Sleep Increases Our Health Risks and Lowers Our Empathy
Lack of sleep is correlated with cardiovascular disease, depression, and more: it also makes us more selfish.
SEP 17, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Dental Care Linked to Better Heart Attack Outcomes
SEP 17, 2022
Dental Care Linked to Better Heart Attack Outcomes
People who receive periodontal care have shorter hospital stays following a heart attack. The corresponding study was pu ...
Loading Comments...