Humble Gut Bugs are Heart Disease Superheroes

Unless you’ve been living on a remote island, you likely have an idea of how vital good gut health is for your overall well-being.

After all, what we’ve learned about the microbiome’s relationship to our health in the last few years is nothing short of mind-blowing.

A well-balanced microbiome has been linked to a lower risk of various diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

And then there’s the connection between our gut microbiome and heart health. Scientists KNOW it’s important, but they don’t understand HOW the relationship works.

Well, until now, that is…

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. And new research may have just confirmed this.

A recent study published in the journal Cell shed light on how the tiny organisms in our digestive system play a bigger role in lowering the risk for heart disease than we ever imagined.

Researchers analyzed metabolites and microbial genomes from over 1,400 participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term project focused on uncovering risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

They discovered that Oscillibacter, one of the many species of bacteria that can live in our guts, gobbles up cholesterol from its environment and incorporates it into its membranes so it no longer circulates in the bloodstream.

Study participants with higher levels of these little critters have lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease.

In fact, researchers found that the volunteers with several species of Oscillibacter bacteria had significantly lower cholesterol levels than those lacking in the beneficial bugs.

But the discoveries didn’t end there. The researchers also found that the microbes convert some of the cholesterol into intermediate products that other bacteria can further break down and excrete from the body.

And they uncovered a second gut bug, Eubacterium coprostanoligenes, which was also linked to lower cholesterol and heart risks.

Now, you can’t run to the store and grab bottles of these two probiotics off the shelf, at least not yet. But you CAN take steps to support your gut health and reap the MANY benefits of having a thriving microbiome, including a lower heart disease risk.

Start with a good-bacteria-promoting diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and olive oil.

Then support your gut with fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha which all contain beneficial bacteria that help balance your microbiome.

Additionally, eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, to support overall gut health and reduce inflammation.

Don’t skimp on the prebiotic fiber found in foods like garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, and bananas. These fibers provide fuel for the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

And finally, include a quality probiotic supplement in your daily routine. While it won’t contain the specific Oscillibacter and Eubacterium coprostanoligenes strains mentioned in the study, it will support a healthy microbiome and nurture the growth of beneficial gut microbes across the board.

P.S. For more hints on nurturing a healthy microbiome, check out this probiotic hack that SUPERCHARGES gut health.


Chenhao Li, et al.,“Gut microbiome and metabolome profiling in Framingham heart study reveals cholesterol-metabolizing bacteria,” Cell, Volume 187, ISSUE 8, P1834-1852.e19, April 11, 2024,[ DOI: 10. 1016/j. cell. 2024.03.014]

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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