Address: 4450 Capitola Road, Suite 105 Capitola, CA 95010

Opening Hours : Monday to Friday - 9am to 5pm
  Contact : (831) 325-0202

Leaky gut raises risk of artery plaque and heart disease

Many people think the main keys to avoiding arterial plaque and heart disease are to watch their cholesterol, avoid smoking, and exercise. What is less known is how dependent your heart health is on your gut. If you have digestive problems, multiple food sensitivities, or chronic inflammation, any of these symptoms could be signs that your gut health is putting your heart health at risk.

If you have digestive problems, chronic pain or inflammation, multiple food sensitivities, or an autoimmune condition you are not managing, chances are you have a leaky gut.

Leaky gut is also referred to as intestinal permeability. A leaky gut means the lining of the small intestine has become inflamed, damaged, and overly porous, which allows undigested foods, bacteria, molds, and other antigens to enter the bloodstream. Because these compounds don’t belong in the sterile environment of the bloodstream, the immune system views them as toxic and attacks them, causing inflammation. This chronic inflammation plays a role in many health conditions, including artery blockage and heart disease.

Inflammation From Leaky Gut Clogs Arteries

Inflammation from leaky gut can be a primary factor in causing arterial plaque and blockage. In fact, patients with heart disease show higher incidences of leaky gut compared to those who don’t have heart disease.

Inflammation creates lesions on arterial walls. The body “bandages” them up with cholesterol, which becomes plaque. This process is known as atherosclerosis

Inflammation not only promotes plaque in the arteries, it also weakens the stability of this plaque. Plaque stability is important to prevent heart attacks. Rupturing of plaque causes it to come loose and block the artery, starving the heart of blood and leading to a heart attack.

Leaky gut is recognized as a primary factor in causing chronic inflammation that not only can clog your arteries, but also inflame your joints, cause skin issues, trigger autoimmunity, or inflame your brain with symptoms of brain fog, depression, or memory loss. Inflammation affects each of us differently depending on our genetics and environment.

Pathogens From Leaky Gut Damage Arteries

Leaky gut also promotes arterial plaque and heart disease in another way—by allowing infectious bacteria and other pathogens into the bloodstream.

Our guts are home to several pounds of a diverse array of gut bacteria. New research shows how vital gut bacteria (microbiome) are to all facets of our health. The microbiome produces vital nutrients, activates anti-inflammatory plant compounds, regulates metabolism and immune function, and influences brain health and function.

Unfortunately, Americans have by far the unhealthiest microbiomes of the populations studied. Many Americans not only lack diversity in their healthy gut bacteria, but they also have too much bad, inflammatory bacteria in their guts.

Gut bacteria have also been linked to obesity, triglyceride levels, and cholesterol levels. People with healthy blood lipid levels also show more diversity of gut bacteria.

Many people develop leaky gut in part based on poor stomach health and infection from h. pylori (Helicobacter pylori), the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers. H. pylori has been linked with irregular heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation), which increases the risk of heart failure.

Don’t let your gut sabotage your heart. Ask my office how we can help you shore up the health of both with proven functional medicine strategies.