Per Rehné, Commercial Director at OptiBiotix, reveals some simple steps to support your heart’s health.
The heart is the body’s most important muscle. Found at the centre of the cardiovascular system, it is fundamentally responsible for everything that gives the body life, pumping blood around the body as it beats. The blood supplies oxygen and nutrients to vital organs and tissue, whilst also removing carbon dioxide and other wastes.
Heart health is important for all ages, young and old, to avoid cardiovascular disease and complications such as heart attacks and strokes. These typically occur when plaque, made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the blood, builds up in the coronary arteries.
Heart health is also vital for circulation and the efficient transportation of blood around the body. In addition, it also contributes to a healthy mind, reducing cognitive-related problems such as dementia and depression.
Simple lifestyle changes can help avoid, or even slow down, heart-related issues such as angina (chronic chest pain) and coronary heart disease. Probiotic supplements can play an important role in reducing cardiovascular risk by introducing specific probiotic strains associated with positive health benefits into the system, which in turn can improve heart health. In the past, probiotics have been developed to help with immunity and digestion but thanks to recent scientific developments, probiotics can now provide support for specific health problems such as cardiovascular disease and deliver real heart health benefits.
In addition to healthy lifestyle choices and probiotic supplements, there are key nutrients available which can support heart health and significantly decrease the risk of heart disease and benefit individuals who already struggle with cardiovascular disease. These include omega-3 essential fatty acids, which support the heart by decreasing inflammation and preventing clot formation, and magnesium, zinc and quercetin.
The present epidemic of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other complications has necessitated a change of focus from diagnosis and treatment to prevention. Adopting a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a healthy diet low in processed foods, quitting smoking and keeping body fat at healthy levels can all help towards improving heart health.
Research has demonstrated that maintaining a healthy diet, and therefore improving heart wellness, starts in the gut – more specifically in a person’s gut microbiome. The microbiome responds directly to the things we eat, with a more varied diet leading to a more diverse microbiome. Studies have shown that just 10 days of eating highly processed foods can cut your microbiome diversity by up to 50%. Alternatively, a high-fibre, low-sugar diet has been shown to benefit your gut, as has eating fermented foods such as live yoghurt, sauerkraut or pickles.
Taking a scientifically-backed probiotic is a simple way to restore gut balance to support the microbiome and importantly, manage and improve heart health. Recent scientific developments are unveiling the potential of targeted probiotics to directly benefit specific health concerns, such as cholesterol levels, by absorbing, breaking down and transforming cholesterol.