I saw an article a couple of days ago linking the importance of oral health to heart health. The Harvard Heart Letter was discussing the possible link between bacteria in the mouth and the possible development of heart disorders such as pericarditis, a potentially harmful condition involving bacterial “invasion” of the lining of the heart. The fear was that inflammation of the mouth could “rev up” an infection elsewhere in the body, possibly leading to heart attack and stroke. They did conclude the short article by admitting that we have “a lot to learn” about the possible link between oral bacteria and the health of the heart.
That’s for sure! In fact the health of the mouth, more specifically the health of the bacteria in the mouth, has a tremendous amount to do with heart health. We have known for years now that the healthy bacterial population of our mouth not only is NOT harmful to the heart, in fact it is one of the primary first defenses of a healthy heart!
An interesting thing about the mouth and the heart was discovered a bit by accident many years ago. It was found that when a hospitalized person was intubated, in other words tubes were inserted to assist in breathing or feeding, the swallowing reflex was interfered with. Coincidentally the patients began to develop circulatory and heart problems as well. What was discovered was that in the absence of swallowing, the body was not getting enough nitrites into the stomach. Why is this important?
Nitric oxide is the humble “miracle molecule” that must be present to preserve heart and circulatory health. One of the primary pathways for the normal production of nitric oxide (NO) in the body is the salivary route. We get the basic building blocks for NO from our food, mostly green vegetables, however the nitrate form of nutrient is something that we cannot digest. So this is where the bacteria come to the rescue.
A miracle of human symbiosis is that these bacteria “digest” the nitrates into nitrites for us in exchange for energy in the process. The nitrites are swallowed into the acid environment of the stomach where they are transformed into life-, and heart-, saving nitric oxide.
Bottom line…if we destroy the bacteria…we destroy one of the most important functional pathways for the production of nitric oxide. And this helps save our heart, decrease hardening of the arteries, assist in managing hypertension….the list is long.
Medical science is still learning more about this. They are waking up to the fact that this little molecule nitric oxide is a hero, a life saver, when not too long ago we thought it was a useless by-product of metabolism, even a pollutant and toxin!
It’s never too late to learn more! So when you are preparing to go to war against “germs”, especially our little heroes that live in our mouth…think again! Use some fresh mint, or organic breath saver….leave the anti-microbial mouthwash on the shelf. You don’t want to kill your friends!
For more info on this visit www.PerryChinn.com/nitric-oxide or even better, call or e-mail me and order my book, Symphony of Wellness!
Bacteria are our friends…in the right context of course! In a healthy body, according to Bonnie Bassler at Princeton, our bacteria friends outnumber our human cells by 10 to 1…an interesting little tidbit of info to remember when we are ready to go to war!
IN-JOY your health!
Dr. Chinn is a 1986 Life graduate Seattle area for 26 years and is a board member of the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society. He is the co-creator of the nutritional cardiovascular formula Acctrix (www.Acctrix.com) available at Amazon, co-founder of Unisal Wellness Technologies and is the author of Symphony of Wellness and Soaring Beyond Fear ( www.PerryChinn.com). His book Symphony of Wellness focuses on the science and benefits of the Nobel Prize winning science of nitric oxide for cardiovascular health and whole body wellness. He can be reached at DrPChinn@gmail.com
Dr. Chinn is a 1986 Life University graduate (Marietta), has been practicing for 37 years, currently in NW Montana. He has served as a board member and vice-president of the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society. As a Gonstead technique diplomate, Dr. Chinn is authorized to teach and coach the Gonstead system to other doctors of chiropractic. He is the author of Symphony of Wellness and Soaring Beyond Fear (www.PerryChinn.com), his book Symphony of Wellness (now in an expanded 3rd edition) focuses on the science and benefits of the Nobel Prize winning science of nitric oxide for cardiovascular health and whole body wellness. He is available for keynote speaking and coaching. Dr. Chinn can be reached at DrPChinn@gmail.com