The Gut-Heart connection

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As we are all aware, February is American Heart Month. You may also be aware that heart disease is still the leading cause of death of Americans. The obvious factors that contribute to heart disease are still lack of proper exercise, a poor diet, obesity, high blood pressure and inflammation. What you may not be aware of, however is your gut plays a critical role in heart disease risk also.

Listed below are examples of how your gut influences your heart health.

  • Obesity – numerous studies on germ-free and wild-type mice have revealed a distinct relationship between gut microbes and obesity. Fecal transplant of “fat bacteria” into the colons of germ-free skinny mice resulted in greater adiposity, and vice versa. “Skinny bacteria” transplanted into obese mice led to weight reduction.
  • Inflammation – Your gut microbes have an enormous impact on the health of your immune system and as such are key mediators of the inflammatory response. Elevations in systemic inflammation are directly associated to an increase in incidence of cardiovascular disease. You can have a simple hs-CRP blood test to evaluate your risk of cardiovascular inflammation. At Stanly Wellness Center we run a simple in-office urine test to access your inflammation body burden.
  • Cholesterol – Your gut microbes play a complex part in the role of lipid metabolism. Several microbial species have been found to modulate liver and systemic lipid metabolism.
  • Toxins & Heavy Metals – Researchers are demonstrating and suggesting that environmental pollutants, chemicals and heavy metals are linked to cardiovascular disease. Your gut microbiome influences the absorption, metabolism and excretion of these harmful toxins and affects your detoxification enzymes and pathways. You can spend a few hundred dollars to have hair, blood and urine analysis performed to check your toxic body burden. Or, at Stanly Wellness Center we run a simple in-office urine test to access your detoxification status.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies – It is well understood that your gut microbes play a significant role in influencing the availability of nutrients by how they synthesize many vitamins making them available for your body’s daily functions. Blood tests can reveal any deficiencies in vitamin and mineral status like vitamin D, B, C, magnesium, iron, etc.
  • Liver Health – It has also been shown that your liver is connected with heart health and function by providing adequate nutrition to the heart muscle. During times of fasting (which I strongly recommend) the liver produces ketone bodies that the heart cells can use for energy instead of glucose (sugar) which increases inflammation.

The good news here is that you can modify any one of these examples to lessen the chances that you will suffer from a cardiovascular event. For example, consuming probiotics with Lactobacilli or probiotic-containing yogurts have shown to reduce both total and LDL cholesterol levels. Also, prebiotics like inulin and oligofructose as well as fiber have shown to decrease triglycerides, cholesterol and atherosclerotic plaques.

At Stanly Wellness Center, we are eager and ready to help you and your families achieve the best health possible. If you are looking for help with your health or you know of someone who is suffering with poor health, call the office of Stanly Wellness Center at 980-355-7600 and schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with Dr. Patrick Ess to see how he can help. Dr. Ess will not waste your time or money. He will let you know if he can help you, and if he can’t, who in the community can.​

Our office specializes in nutrition, detoxification and neurological correction. You can also refer to our website at for more information. We accept most major health insurances including BCBS, Aetna, Humana, UHC, Medicaid and Medicare.

Stanly Wellness Center is located right on Main St (24/27) in Locust and is situated next door to the Locust Post Office and the Dollar General across the street from the Wells Fargo Bank.

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Patrick Ess
Dr. Patrick R. Ess grew up in Buffalo, NY. There, he attended Daemen College for his undergraduate studies in Natural Medicine. After which, he graduated in 2002 from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY, with a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. Dr. Ess has treated thousands of patients and changed their lives with care. He believes in educating the patient so that they are better able to make informed decisions regarding their health.

Dr. Ess donates his time to the community by educating people of all ages on a variety of health, wellness, and safety issues. He teaches people how to avoid work injuries, stress maintenance, weight loss and promote healthy lifestyles.

Along with his 2 wonderful children - Tristen (16) and Sara (14), Dr. Ess enjoys cycling, hiking, swimming, drive-in movies, and other outdoor activities. Together they promote a healthy lifestyle with regular chiropractic care.