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The heart-gut axis: new target for atherosclerosis and congestive heart failure therapy
  1. Esther Forkosh and
  2. Yaron Ilan
  1. Medicine, Hebrew University Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yaron Ilan; ilan{at}


The human gut microbiota has been identified as a possible novel risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The intestinal microbiome plays a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and heart failure. Even though studies in rodents suggested that gut microbes may affect the risk of heart disease, this link has not been shown in humans. In the present study, we review several potential mechanisms by which the gut microbiome and bacterial translocation are associated with the development of cardiac disorders making them potential targets for novel therapeutic measures for these conditions. Modulation of the gut microbiota as a mechanism for altering the pathogenesis of disorders is an area of growing interest. Alteration in the gut microbiota is being explored as a method of reducing risk factors associated with cardiac diseases.

  • atherosclerosis
  • heart failure
  • microbiome
  • bacterial translocation

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  • Contributors Both authors wrote the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement There are no data in this work.

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