Friday, June 28, 2013

Red Meat Increases Heart Attacks Up To 250%

Alan: The following report was forward by physician friend, E.M.

Here's a new study I just came across today, with new findings related to our gut microbiome, and how eating red meat (production of TMAOs --trimethylamine-N-oxides) increases heart attacks (by 250% !!).  Just an F. Y. I.  Cheers!  E.M.

New Cardiovascular Risk Factor, Again: Gut Bugs, L-Carnitine, and TMAO

Trimethylamine-N-oxide production in the gut is associated with adverse cardiovascular events.

In May 2013, we reported the discovery of a proatherogenic molecule, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO; JW Gen Med May 14 2013). People with the highest blood levels of TMAO, compared with those with the lowest levels, had 2.5-fold higher risk for cardiovascular disease. TMAO is produced when certain gut bacteria metabolize lecithin.

In a new study, researchers found that gut bacteria also produce TMAO when metabolizing L-carnitine, a compound that is abundant in red meat. Meat-eaters produced more TMAO after meals containing a measured amount of L-carnitine than vegans did; meat-eaters also harbored more of the types of bacteria that metabolize L-carnitine into TMAO. Studies in mice confirmed that diets rich in L-carnitine increased the number of gut bacteria that metabolize L-carnitine into TMAO and were associated with atherosclerosis in the mice.

Plasma L-carnitine levels in human subjects who underwent cardiac evaluation predicted adverse cardiovascular events during the months following evaluation, after adjustment for risk factors. And, as in the lecithin study, when gut bacteria in mice were eradicated by antibacterials, diets rich in L-carnitine did not lead to higher TMAO production or to atherosclerosis.

Comment: Taken together, these two L-carnitine studies plus the lecithin study reveal a new cardiovascular risk factor — trimethylamine-N-oxide — that is profoundly affected by gut bacteria. Thus, these studies provide another example of the importance of the gut microbiome on our health (JW Gen Med Jul 24 2012).

Published in Journal Watch General Medicine June 6, 2013


Koeth RA et al. Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis. Nat Med 2013 May; 19:576. (

Bäckhed F. Meat-metabolizing bacteria in atherosclerosis. Nat Med 2013 May; 19:533. (

Once we cross the threshold of eating dead animal flesh, 
denial and scotomization tend to become serious problems.
Buddhists vow liberation of suffering for all sentient creatures.

Here is an excerpt from my daughter's Facebook page:

"Imagine for a moment if we once again knew, strictly as a matter of course, these few unremarkable things: What it is we're eating. Where it came from. How it found its way to our table. And what, in a true accounting, it really cost. We could then talk about some other things at dinner. For we would no longer need any reminding that however we choose to feed ourselves, we eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and what we're eating is never anything more or less than the body of the world." -Michael Pollan

 Agribusiness is well aware of the destruction that our monocultures reap on the
 environment and the anguish that our slaughterhouses inflict upon millions of animals. And they do their best to prevent us from seeing the truth, for they know the human conscience would not allow us to continue to play into such an unethical, unsustainable system if these qualities were apparent. 

"We would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do--for who could stand the sight? Yes, meat would get more expensive. We'd probably eat a lot less of it, too, but maybe when we did eat animals we'd eat them with the consciousness, ceremony, and respect they deserve." 

Ignorance reinforces the global economy. Consciousness, ceremony, and respect are the last thing they want.

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