Research Linking Red Meat and Heart Disease: Carnitine and TMAO

A new study finds a chemical called carnitine promotes a compound called TMAO, a type of bacteria in the gut, which hardens arteries. This chemical is abundant in red meat (beef, venison, lamb, duck and pork), energy drinks and other energy/weight loss products.

Excerpts from the article:

“What this suggests is that maybe there really is a major mechanism associated with red meat consumption that’s associated with cardiac risk factors independent of effects on blood cholesterol.”

“One of the study’s biggest surprises, Hazen said, was how large an impact vegan and vegetarian diets had on the formation of TMAO from carnitine; people in the study who did not habitually eat red meat did not produce the plaque-forming TMAO even when they were given large doses of carnitine in the form of a steak or a supplement.”

The Paleo Diet’s not looking so great from this perspective.

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