Getting to the Heart of the Gut-Brain Axis

Cardiovascular disease is a universal cause of death, affecting 30 million people worldwide and more than 500 thousand in Canada. This disease has increasing effects on the development of Alzheimer’s disease specifically dementia. Cardiovascular disease and dementia are linked to high cholesterol levels and inflammation in the blood vessels. The study of gut microbiomes is critical as it is the center of control for inflammation in organs (brain and heart), this area is also responsible for the absorption of nutrients and the production of energy. Non heritable factors can be used to decrease the negative effects of cholesterol on the brain and heart. The objective of the study is to find associations between cholesterol metabolizing microbiomes and cholesterol levels in different stages of cardiovascular disease. Discovering the bacteria can help develop a probiotic formula to reduce cholesterol levels.