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Monday, April 8, 2013

Red Meat = Heart Attack?

heart attack anatomy
heart attack anatomy (Photo credit: gandhiji40)

Consumption of red meat has a direct link to increased risk of heart attack, according to a new study.  However, in this study, the culprit is not saturated fat, but the carnitine that is abundant in red meat.  The bacteria in the human digestive tract converts carnitine into a little known substance called TMAO, which may be the culprit associated with heart disease and heart attacks.   After the liver produces the TMAO, it is released into the blood stream.  Increased TMAO in the blood stream is a proven predictor of heart attack risk.   TMAO allows cholesterol to penetrate artery walls as well as prevents the elimination of excess cholesterol.

This particular study was led by Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic, and published in Nature magazine.  

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