Chapter

Integrative Cardiology

pp 67-97

Date:

Microbiome and Cardiac Health

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Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other disorders included in the metabolic syndrome (MS) show common pathogenetic factors including a status of chronic low-grade inflammation (CLGI). Recent insights have generated an interesting new perspective introducing the possibility that our microbiota might be involved in the development of these disorders, causing a chronic low-grade inflammatory status and metabolic handling of the host. The relationship between microbiota and host is very complex and is based on a mutual influence. Accordingly, dietary composition and caloric intake seem to alter normal intestinal microbial composition and function, causing effects on the immune system of the host and its metabolic regulation. Several findings have shown that a number of environmental associated factors, damaging the permeability of the intestinal barrier, can facilitate the constant transition of small amounts of bacterial endotoxins in the circulation able to activate, in different organs and tissues, the innate immunity receptors (PRRs), leading to the appearance of a low-grade systemic inflammation. Furthermore, in recent years, the pathogenetic role of PRRs and innate immunity in cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome has become increasingly clear, proving to be the link between intestinal dysbiosis and CLGI.