Gut Microbiota and Cardiovascular Diseases: A Critical Review

Gaia Anselmi, Lucilla Gagliardi, Gabriele Egidi, Sabrina Leone, Antonio Gasbarrini, Giacinto Abele Donato Miggiano, Leonarda Galiuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human intestine contains the largest and most diverse ecosystem of microbes. The main function of the intestinal bacterial flora is to limit the growth of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. However, the intestinal microbiota is increasingly emerging as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The gut microbiota-derived metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids, trimethylamine-N-oxide, bile acids, and polyphenols play a pivotal role in maintaining healthy cardiovascular function, and when dysregulated, can potentially lead to CVD. In particular, changes in the composition and diversity of gut microbiota, known as dysbiosis, have been associated with atherosclerosis, hypertension, and heart failure. Nonetheless, the underlying mechanisms remain yet to be fully understood. Therefore, the microbiota and its metabolites have become a new therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of CVD. In addition to a varied and balanced diet, the use of prebiotic and probiotic treatments or selective trimethylamine-N-oxide inhibitors could play a pivotal role in the prevention of CVD, especially in patients with a high metabolic risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalCardiology in Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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