According to findings from a recent publication in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), gaining more insight into the complex and multifaceted roles of the gut microbiome in overall functions, including the cardiovascular system, could result in the development of individualized treatment for heart failure (HF).

The researchers wrote, “Exploratory clinical studies have revealed shared patterns of gut microbiome dysregulation in this disease, with mechanistic animal studies providing evidence for active involvement of the gut microbiome in development and pathophysiology of HF.”

The authors also indicated that evolving evidence clearly links microbiome dysregulation in HF initiation, progression, and treatment responses. The potential gut microbiome applications in HF noted by the authors included gut microbiome–related HF biomarkers, precision therapeutics, and HF precision nutrition.

The authors also indicated that for the management of HF, connections between the gut microbiome, diet, and medications have the potential to provide the development of novel and innovative treatments for HF patients. They added that the gut microbiome alters the pathophysiology of HF, contributes to the progression of HF and therapeutic responses, and has the potential as a novel biomarker. The authors wrote, “Interdisciplinary collaboration will facilitate translation of precision gut microbiomics to the clinical evaluation and management of patients with HF.”

The authors concluded, “Deeper insights into gut microbiome-host interactions in patients with HF promise to deliver novel disease biomarkers, preventative and therapeutic targets, and improve disease risk stratification. This knowledge may enable a paradigm shift in how we care for patients with HF and pave the path toward improved clinical outcomes through personalized HF care.”

In a news story on the GI & Hepatology News website, lead author Petra Mamic, MD, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, stated, “Over the past years, we have gathered more understanding about how important the gut microbiome is in relation to how our bodies function overall and even though the cardiovascular system and the heart itself may appear to be quite distant from the gut, we know the gut microbiome affects the cardiovascular system and the physiology of heart failure.”

Dr. Mamic noted that individuals with HF have a microbiome that is dysregulated compared with the microbiome in healthy individuals. She added that some of their preliminary data have revealed individuals with HF have severely depleted Bifidobacteria, and researchers are planning a study in which patients with HF will be given these specific probiotics.

She also added, “The difficulty is teasing out whether the microbiome changes are causing heart failure or if they are a consequence of the heart failure and all the medications and comorbidities associated with heart failure.”

A podcast discussing this publication can be found on the JACC website.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.