Say, T. H. (2011, April 7th). Gut microbes may foster heart disease. Science News. Retrieved April 29, 2011, from http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/72372/title/Gut_microbes_may_foster_heart_disease
This article discusses the role of microorganisms in development of heart disease. Scientists from the Cleveland Clinic found that bacteria which live normally in the human gut may cause artery blockage by accumulating products resulting from changing fats in some types of food such as meat, dairy, and fish in human stomach into substances. Daniel Rade, a heart disease specialist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said ,“We probably have underestimated the role our microbial flora play in modulating disease risk”, while the non-participant, Rader, said the role of bacteria in the incidence of heart disease and diabetes is not important, but it may help in the development of these diseases. A study to examine blood plasma in the heart of patients and deceased people was made by Hazen and his co-workers. They discovered 18 types of the simplest unit of chemical substances resulting from digestive fats; they were accumulated in the arteries of those people. Intestinal bacteria can change lecithin, a type of fats, to gas with bad smell within the gut; this gas will be converted to another product, which is called trimethylamine N-oxide or TMAO. The researchers figured out the correlation between increasing TMAO in the blood and increasing the chances of heart disease in humans and mice. The scientists also found that TMAO will not be produced when they get rid of the gut bacteria by using probiotics; they couldn’t determine which type of microbes contributes in forming TMAO. Many researchers refer to the risk of these bacteria with fats such as colin, an important nutrient which is found in different types of food, on the health of people’s. According to Hazen, people health will not be good as a result of taking large amounts of this type of nutrients.
My major is Microbiology, so I was very interested in reading this article, which gave me new information on the role of microorganisms in development of heart disease. I knew from this article that the normal intestinal flora can convert lipids that are found in certain kinds of food into harmful products. These products are accumulated in the artery and lead to a hardening of the arteries. This article gave me extra information about the stages of formation of the harmful products. I was very interested in reading this article because it relates to human health, but I noticed that there is a debate among specialists with regard to the importance of the gut bacteria. While some scientists confirmed the usefulness of this group of bacteria, others argue that the elimination of it reduces the risk of heart disease. It is known that the gut bacteria live in the human gut without harming people any more, but now there is a charge that they cause the most serious kinds of diseases. I was surprised when I read that some scientists claim that it is good to get rid of these microbes by using antibiotics or drugs in order to prevent TMAO production; this is not appropriate for people because there is a symbiotic relationship between enterobacteria and the human. If these bacteria are killed, the balance will be destroyed in this relationship; for example, the people will not profit from the various types of vitamins that are produced by intestinal bacteria, and killing the enterobacteria can make people suffer from certain intestinal diseases such as Diarrhea. Therefore, I think it is better if the scientists find alternative methods to protect people’s health such as conducting studies on the metabolism of these bacteria and detecting the type of bacteria which is responsible for the occurrence of the risk. In this way, the harmful kinds of bacteria will be attacked and eliminated rather than dumping all kinds of bacteria, including beneficial types.