Diet and the heart
EAT your heart out!
Department of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Division, The Rayne Institute, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK
Heart Metab. (2014) 63:2-3
- I have always thought that the phrase, “eat your heart out,” was an odd expression as it is used most commonly to taunt a competitor. The origins of this phrase are contentious and there are at least three different etymologies. To these three, this issue of our journal adds a dysmorphic fourth. The focus of this issue is the effect of diet on the cardiovascular system. This effect can either be direct, through food constituents entering our bloodstream, or indirect. Indirect effects are quite hard to envisage until you delve into the article by Max Nieuwdorp. This article highlights the massive fauna of bacteria that live in our gastrointestinal tract and how they can profoundly influence the efficiency with which we extract calories from our diet. The fauna, or microbiota, also synthesize molecules that trigger very specific signaling pathways that regulate metabolism. The article is not for the faint-hearted since it will change your view of coprophagia and fecal transplantation! The description of the underlying biology, and of the clinical findings, is compelling. Furthermore, this topic affects the interpretation of the other articles in this issue that predominantly focus their explanations on the direct effects of diet. I, therefore, suggest it is worth reading Max Nieuwdorp’s review first, since it offers holistic insight to the complex issue of dietary manipulation. read more…