We’ve been conditioned think of antioxidants as the nutrients that protect us from damage and rightly so. But now it seems that probiotics may provide better protection when it comes to stroke. Researchers have found that having an altered or compromised gut flora could be linked to stroke and symptomatic atherosclerosis.
It seems that a healthy balance of gut bacteria produce carotenoids, which are a type of antioxidant. Past research has investigated the benefits of supplementing carotenoids with regards to angina and stroke, but with varying results.
However, could it be that people who have poor diets end up with a compromised gut bacteria due to the food they consume? Do people with healthy diets just have a lower risk of heart disease and a healthy gut flora because of the contents of their diet and would balancing the gut bacteria of someone with a high risk of heart disease or stroke really make much difference. Further research is needed before we can draw conclusions.
Interestingly, it seems that by studying a patient’s gut flora we may be able to predict their level of risk for developing heart disease, which gives us the potential to provide new prevention options.
So keep your eyes peeled as we could be seeing probiotics specifically for reducing the risk of heart disease or stroke in the future.