Signals from the intestinal microbiota are important for normal host physiology; alteration of the microbiota (dysbiosis) is associated with multiple disease states. We determined the effect of antibiotic-induced intestinal dysbiosis on circulating cytokine levels and severity of ischemia/reperfusion injury in the heart. Treatment of Dahl S rats with a minimally absorbed antibiotic vancomycin, in the drinking water, decreased circulating leptin levels by 38%, resulted in smaller myocardial infarcts (27% reduction), and improved recovery of postischemic mechanical function (35%) as compared with untreated controls. Vancomycin altered the abundance of intestinal bacteria and fungi, measured by 16S and 18S ribosomal DNA quantity. Pretreatment with leptin (0.12 μg/kg i.v.) 24 h before ischemia/reperfusion abolished cardioprotection produced by vancomycin treatment. Dahl S rats fed the commercially available probiotic product Goodbelly, which contains the leptin-suppressing bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, also resulted in decreased circulating leptin levels by 41%, smaller myocardial infarcts (29% reduction), and greater recovery of postischemic mechanical function (23%). Pretreatment with leptin (0.12 μg/kg i.v.) abolished cardioprotection produced by Goodbelly. This proof-of-concept study is the first to identify a mechanistic link between changes in intestinal microbiota and myocardial infarction and demonstrates that a probiotic supplement can reduce myocardial infarct size.