Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are major outcomes of metabolic impairments in humans, which result from several genetic and environmental factors. In recent years, a ‘microbiome hypothesis’ has been proposed as a result of several studies that have attempted to understand underlying mechanisms of CVDs. Similar to CVDs, both genetic and environmental factors, especially diets, have a major impact on shaping gut microbiota and their functions. In the past decade, strong evidence has emerged to confirm the role of gut microbiota in contributing to the onset of CVDs. However, a comprehensive understanding of interactions among diet, host genotype, gut microbiota and CVDs is still facing challenges due to the complicated nature of CVDs. In this chapter, we review the present state of our knowledge about the contributory role of gut microbiota in CVDs and discuss the knowledge gaps that warrant further investigations. Moreover, we review the potential intervention strategies that may target the microbiota-driven pathology in CVDs and discuss the strength and weakness of animal models in studying the roles of gut microbiota in CVDs.
Part of the book: The Gut Microbiome