Washington : Targeting microbes in the gut may prevent heart disease brought on by nutrients contained in diets rich in red meat, eggs and high-fat dairy products, scientists have found for the first time, reports PTI.

The discovery may represent a potential new therapeutic approach for the prevention of heart disease, as well as other metabolic diseases linked to gut microbes, such as diabetes, researchers said.

The new approach demonstrated by researchers from Cleveland Clinic in US centres around the research team’s previous discovery that TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide), a byproduct formed in the gut during digestion of animal fats, is linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Researchers identified a naturally occurring inhibitor called DMB (3,3-dimethyl-1-butanol) found in some cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils and grape seed oils – that reduced levels of TMAO and reduced atherosclerosis in mice.

The link between TMAO, gut microbes and heart disease was first discovered four years ago by the same team, led by Stanley Hazen, from the Cleveland Clinic.

“Many chronic diseases like atherosclerosis, obesity and diabetes are linked to gut microbes,” said Hazen, who is also Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in the Lerner Research Institute.

“These studies demonstrate the exciting possibility that we can prevent or retard the progression of diet-induced heart diseases starting in the gut,” said Hazen.

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