Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. The term heart disease covers many different heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, arrhythmias and congenital defects. Heart disease could be caused by diet, smoking, exercise level, stress, caffeine, alcohol intake or genetics. Research is being done all over the world to help pinpoint biological causes and find ways to decrease risk of heart disease which reduces the number of heart related deaths.

A new study shows that there is a direct correlation to the digestive bacteria in our guts and heart disease. When you eat foods such as egg yolks and fatty meats high in choline, the bacteria in your gut breaks it down and your liver produces more TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide). High levels of TMAO in the blood are linked with heart disease and plaque build up in the arteries. Research shows that if the production of TMAO could be slowed and the levels in your bloodstream lowered, the risk of heart disease would also lessen. Studies are still being performed but promising results are being recorded daily.

While there is no magic cure for heart disease there are lifestyle changes and things you can do to help lower your risk. 

  • Stop smoking! Smoking not only increases your risk for heart disease but many other illness such as head and neck cancers, lung cancer and COPD.
  • Get active! Exercising 3-4 days per week can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.
  • Eat Healthy! Good nutrition and healthy eating also helps decrease your risk for heart disease. Diets full of fruits and vegetables, healthy grains and lean meats, such as chicken and fish help you take in your daily need of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber and carbohydrates.

Doing these things as well as limiting alcohol intake and reducing the stress in your life can help decrease your risk for heart disease. If you have any concerns, please call the doctors at GI Associates.

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