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Eating live microbe-rich foods linked to higher heart health

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Eating live microbe-rich foods linked to higher heart health

In a recent study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers explore the connection between dietary intake of live microorganisms and cardiovascular health (CVH) outcomes amongst adults in america.

Study: Association between dietary live microbe intake and Life’s Essential 8 in US adults: a cross-sectional study of NHANES 2005-2018. Image Credit: FOTOGRIN / Shutterstock.com

How weight loss plan affects CVH

Despite advancements in the event of lipid-lowering drugs, heart problems (CVD) stays a major reason behind death throughout the world, thus impacting economic and social development.

Dietary patterns are implicated in poor CVH, as gut microbiota convert many nutrients into metabolites. This relationship led to the introduction of Life’s Essential 8 (LE8) by the American Heart Association to enhance CVH and reduce CVD. 

The LE8 covers 4 health aspects, including blood pressure (BP), body mass index (BMI), blood glucose, and blood lipids, in addition to 4 health behaviors of sleep health, nicotine exposure, physical activity (PA), and weight loss plan. Nonetheless, the connection between live microorganisms within the weight loss plan and LE8 is poorly understood.

In regards to the study

Data for the present study were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and included seven survey rounds from 2005 to 2018. All study participants were over 20 years of age and provided information on their dietary live microbial intake, LE8, sample weights, and other relevant covariates.

Live microbial quantity per gram was quantified from 9,388 food items, and study participants provided detailed dietary intake information during in-person interviews and telephonic follow-up calls. This information was subsequently used to categorise study participants with low, medium, and high levels of live microbe content.

LE8 scores were calculated as an unweighted average of the eight indicators and ranged from zero to 100. Based on this rating, individuals within the range of 80-100 points were classified as having high CVH, 50-79 points were considered medium CVH, and nil to 49 points were classified as having low medium.

Race and ethnicity, gender, age, education, marital status, socioeconomic status, medical health insurance, alcohol consumption, obesity status, every day nutrient intake, and medical history were included as additional covariates. Chi-square tests, one-way evaluation of variance (ANOVA), and linear regression models were used to investigate the dataset.

Study findings

After applying exclusion criteria, 10,531 people were included in the ultimate evaluation. Females accounted for barely greater than half of the study cohort, with a mean age of about 48 years.

Non-Hispanic White was the predominant ethnicity. Most study participants had not less than a school education and medical health insurance, drank alcohol, and reported being married or in cohabiting relationships.

Most study participants were obese; nearly 9% had CVD, 14% had diabetes mellitus, about 37% had hypertension, and over 70% had hyperlipidemia. About 66% of the study cohort reported a moderate level of CVH. Across CVH levels, participants were similar when it comes to every day intake of carbohydrates, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia but significantly different in other points.

Significant associations were observed between groups of dietary live microbes and LE8 scores, each in crude models and after adjusting for multiple covariates. For all components of LE8, a better intake of live microorganisms was related to higher health behaviors and health factor scores.

Those within the high and moderate microorganism groups had lower CVD risk with odds ratios of 0.65 and 0.73, respectively. Notably, within the low-intake group, LE8 rating and food intake had a linear negative association, whereas this association was positive within the high-intake group. The moderate microorganism intake group exhibited an inverted ‘U’ shape regarding the connection between LE8 and food intake.

Conclusions

Probiotic supplements can reduce oxidative stress, improve immunity, and reduce blood glucose and blood pressure levels, which could maintain CVH. The present study expanded on previous studies that used self-reported medical history to characterize CVD. Taken together, these findings provide strong evidence supporting the consumption of more foods wealthy in live microorganisms to enhance CVH outcomes.

Future studies are needed to discover individuals who may respond in another way to microbial consumption based on gender and ethnicity. For instance, non-Hispanic black individuals didn’t exhibit a major association with live microbe consumption and CVH.

Additional research can be needed to elucidate these associations’ mechanisms and include more diverse cohorts. Some of these studies have the potential to beat the constraints of a cross-sectional study based on dietary recall data to determine causality.

Journal reference:

  • Wang, L., Wang, S., Wang. Y., et al. (2024). Association between dietary live microbe intake and Life’s Essential 8 in US adults: a cross-sectional study of NHANES 2005-2018. Frontiers in Nutrition (2024). doi:10.3389/fnut.2024.1340028

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