The Gut Microbiota and Its Implication in the Development of Atherosclerosis and Related Cardiovascular Diseases

Nutrients. 2020 Feb 26;12(3):605. doi: 10.3390/nu12030605.


The importance of gut microbiota in health and disease is being highlighted by numerous research groups worldwide. Atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease and stroke, is responsible for about 50% of all cardiovascular deaths. Recently, gut dysbiosis has been identified as a remarkable factor to be considered in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In this review, we briefly discuss how external factors such as dietary and physical activity habits influence host-microbiota and atherogenesis, the potential mechanisms of the influence of gut microbiota in host blood pressure and the alterations in the prevalence of those bacterial genera affecting vascular tone and the development of hypertension. We will also be examining the microbiota as a therapeutic target in the prevention of CVDs and the beneficial mechanisms of probiotic administration related to cardiovascular risks. All these new insights might lead to novel analysis and CVD therapeutics based on the microbiota.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; gut microbiota; microbiome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / microbiology*
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology*
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Atherosclerosis / therapy
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Precision Medicine
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use