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Heart-Gut Healing Connection

heart-gut

You’ve heard that old expression… the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Well as it turns out, this also applies to women…

But not in the way you might think!

Heart disease has become the No. 1 cause of death for women in this country. But there’s new breakthrough research that shows the key to healing a “broken” heart starts in your gut.

You won’t hear that from mainstream doctors.

They’re still stuck in the 20th century belief that cholesterol is the root cause of heart disease and a low-fat diet is the cure. For the past 60 years, we’ve spent billions on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and fat-free foods… yet heart disease continues to skyrocket.

But research is starting to catch up to what I’ve been saying for years — and disproving this theory. In fact, researchers at Yale Cardiovascular Medicine proved in an extensive clinical trial that people with low cholesterol had nearly two times as many heart attacks as those with high cholesterol.1

And a few years ago, a University of Cambridge review of 72 different studies found absolutely NO evidence at all to support the theory that fat and cholesterol cause heart disease.2

So, if cholesterol and fat aren’t the cause of heart disease — what is?

The culprit has always been inflammation, caused by your body’s reaction to a diet we didn’t evolve to eat.

And I’ve told you how our modern food supply is made up of inflammation-friendly foods like refined carbohydrates and sugars, cheap vegetable oils and processed “so-called” foods I call “carbage.” And this toxic concoction causes your gut to become way out of balance — and allows dangerous heart-breaking bacteria to thrive.

You see, inflammation begins in your gut. And certain gut bacteria produce a vital enzyme called fatty acid synthase, or FAS.

But when your microbiota is out of balance, FAS production screeches to a halt.

This can have a devastating effect on your health.

FAS is critical for keeping the mucus layer of your intestine intact, and preventing the microbes in your gut from leaking into your cells.

Without this protective layer in your intestine, bad bacteria invade the bloodstream. This creates inflammation in heart cells — leading to restricted blood flow and arterial blockages, a major cause of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.3

Meanwhile researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that atherosclerosis is a direct result of a gut-chemical called TMAO.

A brand-new animal study proved that too much TMAO — the result of a toxic gut — is a direct link to oxidative stress, inflammation and the shrinking of blood vessels leading to the heart.

People with the highest levels of TMAO are 62% more likely to experience serious cardiovascular problems than those with the lowest levels.4

My 3-Step Plan to Rid Yourself of Heart-Breaking Bacteria

At the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, I help my patients protect their hearts and their guts with my Primal Gut-Heart Protocol.

  1. Eat your way to a healthy gut. The key to a healthy gut and heart starts with a Primal Meal Plan. This includes smart fats like olive and coconut oil, omega-3s, avocado and butter. Add protein from grass-fed beef, organ meats, eggs and wild fish. Finally, cut the carbs. Your body can make all the carbs it needs from fat and protein. The best way to cut carbs is by avoiding all processed foods as well as grains, rice, pasta, beans and legumes and starchy vegetables.
  2. Add in foods that contain the prebiotic inulin. Prebiotics are a special kind of non-digestible fiber. These living microorganisms pass through your gut and remain undigested because your body can’t break them down.

    In other words, prebiotics act like fertilizer — feeding your probiotics so they can do their job. Great sources of inulin include bananas, asparagus, onions, garlic, leeks and Jerusalem artichokes.

  3. Get your gut back on track with the right probiotics. Probiotics are live good bacteria cultures. They help recolonize your gut with healthy bacteria and crowd out the bad bacteria. You get a good supply from fermented foods like fresh sauerkraut, kefir, kvass and kimchi and cultured dairy.

    But I find most of my patients benefit from also taking a supplement. Look for one that contains:

    • Lactobacillus plantarum
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
    • Lactobacillus acidophilus
    • Bacillus subtilis
    • Bifidobacterium lactis

You can find probiotics as liquids, powders, tablets or capsules. But be careful… When ConsumerLab.com tested a variety of probiotics, more than a third failed. Most contained too few live bacteria to be effective.

Look for one that guarantees 10-20 billion CFUs (colony forming units) at the expiration date. Between the time of packaging and the time you take them, billions of the bacteria may die off.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Krumholz HM, et al. “Lack of association between cholesterol and coronary heart disease mortality and morbidity and all-cause mortality in persons older than 70 years.” JAMA. 1994;272(17):1335-1340.
2. Chowdhury R, et al. “Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(6):398-406.
3. Koren O, et al. “Human oral, gut, and plaque microbiota in patients with atherosclerosis.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108(Suppl 1):4592–4598.
4. Heianza Y, et al. “Gut microbiota metabolites and risk of major adverse cardiovascular disease events and death: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies.” J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;6(7).


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