A new study discovered that heart patients who consume more dietary fibre tend to have healthier gut bacteria, which is associated with reduced risk of death or need of a heart transplant.
Dietary fibre includes carbohydrate that can't be digested by body enzymes. It is found in edible plant foods such as cereals, fruits, vegetables, dried peas, nuts, lentils, and grains.
"Our gut microbiota is composed of trillions of microorganisms that have the potential to affect our health. Previous research has reported reduced biodiversity of microbes in the gut of patients with heart failure patients. Today we show for the first time that this is related to low fibre intake," said the study author Dr Cristiane Mayerhofer in the study published in the Journal of ESC Heart Failure.
"The study showed an important pathway that connects diet, microbial activity and cardiovascular disease. It would be prudent for patients with heart failure to limit their meat intake to two to three times a week," said Dr Mayerhofer.
To conduct the study, the investigators recruited 84 well-treated patients with chronic heart failure and 266 healthy people.
The composition of gut microbes was assessed by sequencing genes in stool samples and compared between the two groups.
"Our findings suggest that the altered microbiota composition found in patients with chronic heart failure might be connected to low fibre intake. If these findings are confirmed in future studies, my advice will be to choose foods high in fibre such as cereals, fruits, and vegetables to stimulate a healthy gut flora," noted Dr Mayerhofer.