Close X
Get more out of
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.

Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!


Fats cause heart disease—but it's the ones from our gums, not our food
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Medicine has been quietly tip-toeing away from the cholesterol theory of heart disease that fats from our diet are to blame. Instead, it's the fats from bacteria in our gums that are the real culprits, new research suggests.

The fats (lipids) that block arteries—which begins the process known as atherosclerosis, the hardening and thickening of arteries that can cause heart attacks and stroke —don't look like anything from animal or dairy produce, say researchers from the University of Connecticut. Instead they have all the hallmarks of lipids that originate from a specific family of bacteria that are most commonly found in our gums.

The bacteria, Bacteroidetes, shed lipids that are very distinctive—and because they are seen as alien by our immune system, our immune cells are sticking to blood vessel walls as a form of protection, and this could be the reason why arteries start to clog.

This also triggers the production of enzymes that break down Bacteroidetes, and this process kick-starts an inflammatory reaction—which is why heart disease is often seen as a disease of inflammation.

But the bacteria aren't from cholesterol-rich foods such as meat and dairy—instead, they are from our gums, the researchers think.

If so, it would certainly explain why it is that gum disease and heart problems seem to go hand-in-hand.


(Source: Journal of Lipid Research, 2017; 58: 1999)

You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2017 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved